18 March 2019 | Sydney

Are universities set for a bleak future or are they about to take an even more central role in our societies? As the rate of change in our societies accelerates and technology is increasingly adopted, universities are set to be challenged like never before. Envisaging how the future of universities could unfold in the light of these challenges may seem like a difficult task, but it is a necessary one for universities to take charge.

Editors: Balzhan Orazbayeva, Carolin Plewa, Todd Davey, Arno Meerman, Ixchel Brennan, John Szabo, Natalie Forde, Margie Atkinson, Jacyl Shaw, Kathryn Anderson

This is precisely the task tackled by The Future of Universities Thoughtbook | Australian Edition, which specifically focuses on the future of the Australian higher education system. While highly successful globally, both in relation to its research and its education, the transformative and fast-paced times of today require new ideas for inspiring the Australian university of the future.


Collating together diverse voices and narratives, The Thoughtbook sketches out the future roles of universities, as well as their relevance and position within the wider ecosystem of knowledge and innovation production. The Future of Universities Thoughtbook | Australian Edition brings together 20 visions from invited professionals, together with some shorter thought pieces by the editors, to create a vision for the future of universities and how they could potentially impact the world and their community over the next 21 years. Owing to their expertise and positions the contributions have been able to provide a thought-provoking 360-degree review of universities.


Amongst the contributors are thought leaders like KPMG's national education sector leader Prof Stephen Parker AO, who emphasises the need for transformation of the tertiary education system, and Catriona Jackson (Universities Australia), who describes the university as a 'profound game changer'. While Kumar Parakala (GHD) outlines how universities can harness opportunities in the digital economy through cultural change, Kylie Walker (STA) offers exiting examples of how technology can link inter-connected stakeholder communities; and Stephanie Fahey (Austrade) reflects on how universities should best prepare students to the evolving nature of work by embracing collaboration with companies and the uptake of technology.


Initiated by the UIIN Australian Chapter, this edition of the Thoughtbook becomes a thought starter for the development of the Future-Oriented Australian University - a vision for the university by 2040 (University 4.0); whereby academics and students work in real time symbiotic partnerships with industry, government and societal stakeholders to simultaneously create and implement new knowledge and solutions to address business and social issues.


The 20 visions are divided into 4 thematic sections - Disrupting Education, Collision of Technology and Humanity, University Engagement and Institutional Change. With different foci, each of them contributes to creating insightful fora for further dialogue on how universities would shape the future by 2040. In doing so, a wide palette of university future scenarios comes to light.


For more information please visit our website here and/or contact:


Balzhan Orazbayeva orazbayevafh-muensterde

Carolin Plewa carolin.plewaadelaide.eduau

Arno Meerman meermanuiinorg

Todd Davey daveyuiinorg

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