The purpose of this report is to present the findings of a five-day course for AKEPT – the Malaysian Leadership Academy in the Ministry of Higher Education. The course was held from March 24-28th, 2014, for over 50 lecturers, professors, deputy deans and deans from Malaysian universities.
Senior lecturers and professors deliberated for the first three days on the futures of higher education in Malaysia. They presented their scenarios and recommendations to the deans. The deans used these findings to articulate their own preferred futures in the last two days. The future-oriented discussions were framed by the “six pillars” futures approach (Inayatullah, 2008; Inayatullah, 2015; Inayatullah and Milojevic, 2015).
The core of their recommendation consisted of a move by 2025 from the current fragmented university governance structure to a streamlined consortium model. Instead of the factory, a collection of linked longhouses or “rumah panjang” was offered as a way forward. This new model would have two immediate benefits: considerable cost savings and enhanced mobility for students and professors.
This case study presents scenarios and strategies. Limitations include the willingness of the Ministry to act on these recommendations. However, as this course was part of a number of foresight processes in Malaysia, even if these particular recommendations do not realize, they are steps in creating an ecology of foresight and of possible university transformation.
This study links causal layered analysis, scenarios and visions to recommendations in the context of a multi-year foresight process.
The study includes valuable discussions by leading Malaysian thinkers and administrators on the futures of the university.
This was one of the few workshop-oriented interventions used the anticipatory action learning “six pillars framework”. It is especially valuable as it is the third year of futures intervention in higher education. The study contrasts with traditional expert-based forecasting in Asia.
With thanks to Zainal Abidin Sanusi and Fazidah bte Ithnin.
Inayatullah, S. and Milojevic, I. (2016), "Leadership and governance in higher education 2025: can Malaysian universities meet the challenge?", Foresight, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 434-440. https://doi.org/10.1108/FS-03-2016-0011Download as .RIS
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