Students Envisioning the Future

This is a paper that is accepted for FIE 2016. The authors are:

Thomas Lind, Åsa Cajander, and Bengt Sandblad, Uppsala University, Sweden

Marta Lárusdóttir, Reykjavik University, Iceland

Mats Daniels, Åsa Cajander, Elin Parsjö, and Nanna Lagerqvist, Uppsala University, Sweden

Roger McDermott, Robert Gordon University, UK

Tony Clear, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand


Below is the abstract:

Abstract—How can students be included as critical stakeholders in the systems and services provided by a university? To address the whole student experience, we engaged students and employees at a large Swedish university in a vision seminar process to elicit how these groups envisioned an ideal future university, and the necessary changes to technology and organisational structures required to achieve this ideal version. The process entailed six four-hour workshops with four groups consisting of six participants each. A survey instrument was used to follow up on the participants’ experiences of participating in the vision seminar process and their thoughts on the future of the university. The results show that the participating students were more positive compared to the university employees. The students envisioned harmonized interdepartmental systems, seamlessly integrating a variety of services into one university provided solution. The employees envisioned their future work as flexible, enabled by technology providing excellent support without hindering pedagogical and organisational development. Using technological frames, these visions of the future are identified, analysed and discussed in relation to the quality of university education and a holistic view on students’ university experience. Finally we discuss the broader implications of the visions on the future of university education.