Visioning 2035: The future of the higher education sector in the UK
The concept of ‘university’ has been around for centuries and yet the majority of British Universities have yet to reach their 50th birthday. The higher education sector has been through extensive change over a relatively short period of time and this is likely to continue in the future. This paper presents the results of a futures study focussed on the Higher Education sector in the UK in 10 and 25 years time. Following an extensive, broad ranging literature review covering business, education, futures, and socio-political texts and studies, a series of scenarios were developed for the future of the sector as a whole. This study differs from other studies in its field as it is does not focus on individual institutions, but rather at the environmental factors that are going to impact on the sector, setting out a range of scenarios within which institutions will need to shape their individual futures. Five scenarios are presented in this paper with their underlying driving factors, and their implications for the academic workforce being employed in the sector.