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Framework foresight for exploring emerging student needs

Andy Hines (Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 14 August 2017




This paper aims to describe the approach used by the research team to explore the topic of future student needs. It described the specific method, Framework Foresight, and how it was adapted to meet the circumstances of topic and client.


This paper focuses on the approach that guided the original research study on which this special issue is based. It describes the use of the Framework Foresight method developed by the Houston Foresight program and how it was adapted for the project.


The paper demonstrates how the Framework Foresight method can be effectively used to explore the future of a topic, in this case future student needs. It points out how it can be adapted or customized to suit particular topic or client needs.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on the student perspective and identified implications of those findings for higher education institutions and their stakeholders. It did not explicitly focus on how to “fix” higher education or its institutions.

Practical implications

The Framework Foresight method is presented as an effective way to way to explore the future of a topic, in this case future student needs. The paper makes the case that the method develops a solid foundation for developing interesting and useful findings and recommendation for action.


This paper is the first to explicitly identify and describe the application of the Framework Foresight and how it can be customized to explore the future of a topic.



The author acknowledges Lumina Foundation for supporting the research project “The Future of Student Needs: 2025 and Beyond” from which this article is derived.


Hines, A. (2017), "Framework foresight for exploring emerging student needs", On the Horizon, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 145-156.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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