Researching possible futures to guide leaders towards more effective tertiary education
This research aimed to inform institutional leaders by producing and disseminating a system-wide view of what tertiary education might look like in Aotearoa New Zealand, 5 years into the future. The researchers were responding to a challenge in a speech by highly respected national leader, Dr Peter Coolbear, at the DEANZ 2010 conference. The outcome was this research, known as the DEANZ2016 scenario set. Using JISC scenario-planning methodologies, including interviews of 16 national and international education leaders, the scenario set was developed on an x-axis depicting the tension between facing the academy and facing New Zealand employers, professions and iwi; and a y-axis depicting the tension between standardised education and customisation to personalise learning. Each of the quadrants aimed to expose and contrast potential future scenarios. These quadrants were entitled: Articulation, The “supermarket”, Quality branded consortia, and Self-determination. The project was innovatively disseminated via the web, and the DEANZ2016 website became the most popular section of the larger Ako Aotearoa website, stimulating further research into the uptake and effect of the project.