Multiple futures for higher education in a multi-level structure
‘Futures’ (images of the future) are often devised at the level of a single university or at a national level for the overall higher education system. However, the bulk of trends and driving forces shaping universities’ future are international in their nature and universities operate in broader socio-economic and S&T systems. Hence, futures devised in a multi-level structure would better assist decision-makers and stakeholders. This approach is a demanding one in several respects, but offers significant advantages: (i) the potential changes in the social, economic and S&T systems, in which universities are embedded, as well as their impacts on higher education can be considered systematically; (ii) the substantial diversity of higher education systems and individual universities can be taken into account; and (iii) the likely impacts of various policy options can also be analysed.
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