Roles and responsibility of the university in shaping future societies

How can higher education adapt to rapid changes? How can we prepare the students for an unknowable and uncertain future? How can digitalisation contribute to or represent a threat to the original missions of the university? What organisational/national policies can help to prepare universities for the changes to come?  These will be the focus of a session at ISA World Congress 2018 in Toronto this summer, where experts of the field will be engaged with the audience in discussion about the topic.

The future of the higher education sector in general and higher education institutions in particular is both troubling and uncertain. At the moment, it seems that there are several social, political, economic and technological trends which really test the sector’s and the institutions’ adaptive capacities. A large part of the academic discourse is concerned with these changes and challenges which all lead back to a core question, namely, what the future roles and responsibilities of higher education institutions in society can be. While many studies deal with how HEI can adapt to future trends, less attention is given of what roles these institutions can play in creating more democratic, socially and environmentally responsible societies.

There are two forums addressing this question organised by the Future of Higher Education Research Centre (FHERC). One of them is a special issue in the making at Futures (Elsevier). Based on this, there will be a session at ISA World Congress 2018 (details) in Toronto this summer, where the authors and additional presenters will be engaged in discussion about the topic. The session (Wednesday, 18 July 2018, 15:30-17:20 room 206D) focuses on what kind of roles universities can play in shaping society. Applying an atypical format, there will be three main topics, which will be discussed in small groups after the initial thoughts of the presenters:  1) Teaching and learning about the future, 2) Digitalisation & the future of Higher Education, 3) Policy issues & the future of Higher Education.

Here you can meet

We look forward to having a discussion with you!

Zsuzsanna Géring and Gábor Király (FHERC)

Budapest Business School