Higher Education Futures

Higher Education Futures presents eight new speculative scenarios for the future of higher education teaching:

  1. Extinction-era universities 
  2. AI academy
  3. The universal university
  4. Extreme unbundling
  5. Justice-driven innovation
  6. Return to the ivory tower
  7. The university of ennui
  8. Enhanced enhancement

It is hoped the scenarios will work as a provocation, and a starting point, for new conversations about the future of our universities and the teaching we do through them.

As well as the scenarios themselves, we have produced a collection of speculative short fiction, one for each scenario. The intention is to use all of this in workshops, talks and other settings where we do collaborative future-making work with colleagues and students.

We offer them to others who may wish to do the same. They are freely re-usable with attribution and consist of:

This work is not a prediction of what will happen. Some of these scenarios could not logically co-exist within the same reality. Rather, they aim to unsettle assumed futures and support us to imagine new, desirable ones. They are told from a particular time and place, and speak to present concerns and hopes.

We hope you will find them enjoyable and useful for your own work – and please get in touch if you would like to talk to us about them.

Research areas
Digital Cultures
Research team

Professor Siân Bayne

Dr Jen Ross

Dr Michael Gallagher

Key contact
Professor Siân Bayne

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