The Future through the Eyes of the Key Stakeholders: Hungarian Backcasting Scenarios on the Future of Economic Higher Education

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 34 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Alexandra KOVES, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Sara CSILLAG, Budapest Business School, Hungary
Tamas GASPAR, Budapest Business School, Hungary
Zsuzsanna GERING, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Gabor KIRALY, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
In 2015 a backcasting experiment took place in Hungary on the future of economic higher education. Backcasting is a participatory future scenario building exercise that enables participants to leave the constraints and realms of the present behind and visualise an ideal scenario in the not too near but not too distant future. These visions can then be used to back track the necessary steps that may lead towards such desired outcomes and hence identify implementable measures especially for policy-makers. As opposed to forecasting, this technique does not try to attempt to identify and extrapolate current trends but uncovers the underlying aspirations of stakeholders and finds paths to suit these expectations. This particular research ran two two-day backcasting workshops with two groups of stakeholders. The first one consisted of lecturers, researchers and higher education administrators both from operative and strategic levels. The second group involved students studying currently in economic higher education institutions. Both groups used the timeline of 2050 as their envisioned state of the higher education system. The aim of this paper is to present the resulted scenarios and show how the visions of these two stakeholder groups relate to each other. The visions cover a wide range of topics such as the means and methods of transferring knowledge in the future; the changing relationships between students and educators; the virtual and physical spaces used in higher education; or the role economic higher education plays in the society of the future.