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University futures: Wikipedia uni, core‐periphery reversed, incremental managerialism or bliss for all?

Sohail Inayatullah (Professor at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan, and at the Centre of Policing, Intelligence and Counter‐terrorism, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and the University of the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba, Australia)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 27 January 2012



The purpose of this paper is to overview the futures of the university by analyzing critical drivers. It also aims to assess drivers identified a decade ago on university futures.


The paper reviews drivers, trends and scenarios.


The paper finds first, globalization will likely continue but innovation will move to Chindia. Second, democratization has resulted by not as imagined a decade ago, rather, peer‐to‐peer or web 2.0 has changed the game. Three new scenarios are articulated: Wikipedia university; core‐periphery reversed and incremental managerialism. Bliss for all remains an outlier.

Practical implications

Asian‐Pacific universities instead of adopting the used future of the core will find it wiser to innovate and create new visions as well as to develop new global ranking systems.

Social implications

Traditional universities are the likely dinosaurs unable to thrive in a dramatically changing world. Increasing inequity in traditional western universities will likely further devalue higher education. New models of inclusion are required.


The paper articulates new scenarios of the future, and assesses trends identified a decade ago. It provides a strategy for university administrators to navigate the challenges ahead.



Inayatullah, S. (2012), "University futures: Wikipedia uni, core‐periphery reversed, incremental managerialism or bliss for all?", On the Horizon, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 84-91.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited