University sectors in Australia and across the world are facing an inflection point in their future trajectories. The COVID-19 pandemic has undermined business models built on international student income, radically changed the student experience and upended norms of academic behaviour – particularly around conferences and travel. It has also exposed a range of long term fragilities and deep challenges for universities to navigate.
The second instalment in the Future Insights Paper series, Future Universities: Value for Changing Societies is authored by the Director of the NSC Futures Hub , Dr. Ryan Young, and produced with input from a wide range of experts concentrated around The Australian National University.
This paper — which is based on a longer report by the author titled Australian Universities: Thriving in a Changing World? — is designed to help policy thinkers develop and test futures scenarios, conduct horizon scanning, and integrate futures analysis into their work.
It focuses on two core questions:
- What trends and drivers will shape the operating context for Australian universities – particularly research-intensive universities – over the next decade?
- How can Australian universities ensure ongoing success and deliver increasing societal value?