Scanning Retrospective, No. 36

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 11

[Originally published] Issue 10, December 2002

    • [Intro to new format for prospect]
    • [Description of selection criteria for inclusion of items (‘hits’) in the  FPR strategic scanning database (SSD)]
    • [Sign-off from FPR, editorship of prospect and authorship of the Snippets]
    • [Ten scanning ‘hits’ from the SSD]
    • Foresight Snippets, No. 25

Welcome to the December 2002 issue of prospect, the Foresight Bulletin, from Foresight, Planning & Review.

As I mentioned last time, this issue, No.10, is to be the first of a new format for prospect – instead of publishing full journal articles, now we will simply publish a selection of records (what we call “scanning hits”) from the FPR’s strategic scanning database (SSD). As usual, the URL links will be “live” in the PDF versions of this Bulletin.

FPR is ramping up the implementation of a University-level, continuous, active strategic intelligence scanning system, designed to help the  University seek out, find, assess and act wisely upon, things occurring in the University’s strategic environment which affect the University as a whole organisation. The criteria used for inclusion of scanning “hits” into SSD are:

  • English language (or translation available);
  • at least a ten-year forward view timeframe;
  • “weak signals” of change, rather than examples of currently mainstream thinking;
  • relevant to the strategic themes of the University as a whole; and
  • potential “wildcards” which could affect society and education, or possible strategic “blind-spots” of the University as a whole.

In addition:

  • the source document must be available through electronic means, via the Library’s subscribed data sources and databases, or be a book held in the Library; and
  • the scanning source must have a high degree of credibility and quality (thus, refereed journals are preferred over newspapers, for example).

The scanning work being done in FPR is not in any way meant as a replacement for existing scanning efforts going on in the University. Rather, it is intended as a complement to those efforts, by focusing on areas which existing scanning efforts might regard as “too fringe” or “too far” into the future to be of direct obvious relevance or interest. A foresight view – which in our case takes a time horizon of 10-20 years out from the present – needs to look at even weaker signals of change than conventional environmental scanning does – signals which, by their nature, are very far from “mainstream”.

The SSD, to be updated monthly, will be available for download as a ProCite database from the FPR web site at [deleted].

In other news, this is the last issue of prospect with me as editor. I am leaving FPR – and my current role as a foresight analyst – in order to take up an academic position at the Australian Foresight Institute.

If you are interested in collaborating with the on-going scanning effort in FPR, please contact my successor, who will take over the responsibility for maintaining the scanning database, as well as the editorship of prospect and the authorship of the Foresight Snippets.

As ever, and for the last time, I hope you find the scanning hits selected, and the Snippets, both interesting and thought-provoking.

Joseph Voros, FPR, Swinburne, December 2002.

[Ten scanning ‘hits’ from the SSD]

[The ‘hits’ were provided as 1-pagers, designed for easy printing and filing, based on the OECD’s own format, and had a layout roughly as follows (given the formatting limitations of web pages) with some additional information fields in some cases, depending on the type of source document:]

Rethinking the university
Abeles, Tom P.
Publication Year:
tertiary education ; higher education ; universities ; market forces ; academia
The education market is worth hundreds of billions of dollars, and every week sees a new joint venture announced by traditional or new players, as they jockey for position in this increasingly global market. But what should the role of the University be in an era of globalisation and e-commerce?
Document Type:
Article in a periodical
Foresight, Vol.3, No.6, pp563-8
1463-6689 (print); 1465-9832 (electronic)
[via the University’s online journal subscriptions]

[The rest of the hits will not be laid out like the above, but simply given as citation information with an Abstract, to show examples of what sort sources were being scanned during the ramping-up of scanning in 2002. By this stage, the SSD contained upwards of ~200 such ‘hits’, many of which were used in the Swinburne Scenarios Project.]

Andresen, Lee W. 2000. ‘A useable, trans-disciplinary conception of scholarship’. Higher Education Research and Development 19(2):137–53. [doi:10.1080/072943600445619]
If the notions of scholarship, scholar and scholarly are to avoid emptiness and become useable as descriptors of teaching, as Ernest Boyer hoped, the concepts behind these terms need clarifying and tightening-up, particularly in the context of a university system re-inventing itself and unsure of its future direction. A three-fold analysis of scholarly is proposed, referring to critical reflectivity as a habit of mind, scrutiny by peers as a modus operandi, and inquiry as a motivation. The paper asks what scholarly teaching might look like if this conceptualisation were adopted. Answers suggested include knowledge-based teaching, discipline-based teaching and inquiry-based teaching. The implications of these ideas are explored in regard to contributing to “good teaching”, opening up teaching to peer-scrutiny, strengthening teaching as a collective enterprise, and sustaining university teachers in danger of burn-out and demoralisation. An extensive bibliography of recent work on scholarly teaching and an Appendix illustrating micro-level, scholarly analysis of a teacher’s work are included. (author)
Duderstadt, James J. [President Emeritus, University of Michigan] 2000. ‘The future of the research university in the digital age’. Author’s personal web space, University of Michigan web site.
Today our society and our social institutions are being reshaped by the rapid advances in information technology: computers, telecommunications, and networks. Information technology changes the relationship between people and knowledge. And it is likely to reshape in profound ways knowledge-based institutions such as our colleges and universities. There is an increasing sense that new technology will also have a profound impact on teaching, freeing the classroom from the constraints of space and time and enriching the learning of our students through access to original materials. Yet, while this technology has the capacity to enhance and enrich teaching and scholarship, it also poses certain threats to our colleges and universities. Technology is creating an open learning environment in which the student has evolved into an active learner and consumer of educational services, stimulating the growth of powerful market forces that could dramatically reshape the higher education enterprise. Some have even suggested that in the face of rapidly evolving technology and emerging competition, the very survival of the university, at least as we know it, may be at risk. (extract)
Ottewill, Roger 2002. ‘Student self-managed learning – time for action’. On the Horizon 10(2):13-14. [doi:10.1108/10748120210440330]
As student self-managed learning becomes an increasingly significant element of campus-based higher education courses, so action is required to ensure that academic staff are primed to deal with the challenges involved. Reconciling the needs and inclinations of students with the capabilities and disposition of academic staff in this respect is not for the faint-hearted. It calls for an active and sensitive leadership that is prepared to endorse revised understandings of academic development and academic discretion and to put in place measures designed to bring about their realisation. (author)
Curtain, Richard 2001. An entitlement to post-compulsory education: International practice and policy implications for Australia. National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER), Leabrook, South Australia. ISBN:0-87397-746-7 (print); 0-87397-747-5 (web). 41pp.
The purpose of this paper is to survey European and United States approaches to public funding for post-compulsory education and to offer an analytical framework describing how the funding is allocated. A particular focus of this paper is to identify the principles which governments use to determine access to public funding for post-compulsory education.

The paper identifies two stages in post-compulsory education now common in Europe and more recently the USA and their respective entitlements. The first stage refers to the additional education undertaken between the age at which the requirement for compulsory schooling ends and the attainment of a ‘threshold qualification’. In the Nordic countries, the UK and the USA, government funding in the form of a universal entitlement is made available to encourage all young people to attain a qualification level deemed necessary to obtain work in a competitive labour market. For the second stage of post-compulsory education the entitlement to public funding is dependent upon meeting certain criteria for initial access and continued funding.

This paper identifies the different underlying principles that governments use in funding the two stages of post-compulsory education in Europe and the USA. The penultimate section outlines mechanisms used in the UK and the USA to share responsibility for funding post-compulsory education and lifelong learning between governments, individuals and enterprises. The final section of the paper explains the implications of the main findings of the paper for the Australian context. (extract from Executive Summary)

IBISWorld 2002. ‘Technical and Further Education in Australia’. Report No.N8432. IBISWorld (online). 39pp.
IBISWorld forecasts that over the five years to 2006-07 industry value added (IVA) will grow at an average annualised real rate of 2.2 per cent per year, compared with forecast average real growth in GDP of 3.8 per cent per year. The Commonwealth Government’s 2001-02 budget provided additional funding of some $230 million over the period 2001 to 2003 under a new Australian National Training Authority Agreement. To receive the Commonwealth’s growth funding, State and Territory Governments are expected to match the Commonwealth’s growth funding (dollar for dollar), agree to expand New Apprenticeships places, pursue strategies to support innovation, commit to continue to advance national consistency, and fully implement user choice. Nevertheless, State Government budgetary constraints will impact on the VET portfolio (which is a major State Government expenditure item). Users (i.e. students and employers) will be required to take greater responsibility for the cost of education and training. Also, governments will seek to deliver VET programs at lower unit costs, and will increase the level of competitive funding (placing pressure on TAFEs and other providers of publicly funded VET to keep down their own costs). VET providers will increasingly provide courses away from their own physical premises (e.g. at employers’ premises, by correspondence and on the internet) and this will act to reduce accommodation and equipment costs. The Labor Victorian Government froze user-choice and competitive funding at 1999 levels to assess the desirability of further competition in the training market. Increased Commonwealth funding of pre-vocational places; the development of further educational pathways throughout and between the vocational, school and higher education systems; and financial incentives provided to trainees/apprentices and their employers will tend to increase the overall participation of people in the 15 to 20 year old group in post-school education. (Extract from Report Outlook)
IBISWorld 2002. ‘Higher Education in Australia’. Report No.N8431. IBISWorld (online). 43pp.
IBISWorld forecasts that in the 5 years to 2005-06 industry value added (IVA) will grow at an average annualised real rate of 4 per cent per year, compared to forecast real growth in GDP of 3.6 per cent per year. IBISWorld forecasts that over this period real growth in IVA will be below real growth in industry turnover (4.7 per cent per year), due mainly to slow real growth in industry employment and wages (offset by increases in non-wage costs). The industry growth rate will be adversely affected by a low real increase in Commonwealth Government funding (even after including payments received from the HECS Trust Fund); low or negative real growth in State Government funding; and by the increase in the HECS commitments for new students (which will adversely impact on domestic demand for higher education places). However, low real growth in total government funding will be offset by continuing strong (albeit lower) growth in revenues from domestic and overseas fee-paying students. The workplace will become more flexible, allowing for greater opportunities for further education within the workplace. However, slow growth in the Australian population of young adults will have a dampening effect on demand from Australian students for full-time undergraduate courses. (Extract from Report Outlook)
Prensky, Marc 2002. ‘The motivation of gameplay: The real twenty-first century learning revolution’. On the Horizon 10(1):5-11. [doi:10.1108/10748120210431349].
Many academics prefer to think of education as “work” rather than “fun”. As a result, motivation in higher education rarely comes from the process itself. The author predicts this will change as the generation raised on the engagement of games no longer accepts the historical but unnecessary separation of fun and learning. The author offers the games world as an example of the process itself being motivating to the user. He ascribes this to “gameplay”, the techniques used by game designers to keep players engaged. The author suggests several ways to bring the motivation of gameplay into education, and predicts that gameplay will eventually become the criterion by which students choose their courses. (author)
Wildman, Paul 1998. ‘From the monophonic university to polyphonic multiversities’. Futures 30(7):625-33. [doi:10.1016/S0016-3287(98)00070-6].
Future University? This is a question on many minds today and with the onslaughts of social upheaval, economic constraint and the WWW, the question demands close attention. Seeking an alternative to “one right way of knowing” is nothing short of finding the modern-day equivalent of the monastery (from which today’s universities emerged). This article seeks to explore several of the dimensions of this question and concludes that the concept of University needs to move from a monophonic one with “one way to know” to a polyphonic one where diversity is harmonised. (author)
Grant, James 1998. ‘A new educational paradigm for the new millennium: Consciousness-based education’. Futures 30(7):717-24. [doi:10.1016/S0016-3287(98)00078-0].
It is the year 2050 and education is dramatically different from education in the 20th century. At the basis of the new education is the insight that a field of pure consciousness exists which can easily be experienced by all. From this insight, a new educational paradigm has emerged — consciousness-based education — with a more profound understanding of human development and how to promote it. The primary goal of education now is enlightenment and the entire curriculum is organised to foster this goal. The flowering of human potential produced by this educational approach has created a new age for humanity — the Age of Enlightenment. (author)

Foresight Snippets, No. 25 [final]

[published in Retrospective No.25]

prospect is a quarterly publication of the department of Foresight, Planning & Review, Swinburne University of Technology.

Futura tenaciter in prospectu tenemus

This publication is intended to serve the broader Swinburne community, by highlighting areas of interest and concern to Swinburne stakeholders, by helping us take a long-term foresight view, and to expand our perceptions of our strategic options as we move forward together into our common future.

This collection is © 2002 FPR and Swinburne University of Technology. Copyright for the individual articles resides with the original authors and/or the original sources as listed. All articles have been used either with express permission or, where express permission is not required, following stipulated re-use guidelines.

NOTE: In all the posts in this series, the original source URLs are left exactly as they were when published 20-odd years ago. This means they will almost certainly be dead links (or good ol’ 404 errors). I do not have the patience or inclination to follow-up or find any archived or re-located versions of those web pages (because, well, life is too short). But, if it really bugs you, I invite you to see if you can find archived or relocated versions of those dead-link pages. And if you do, let me know, and I’ll update these posts with due credit to your detective work.

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