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Augmented reality, the Murabbi and the democratization of higher education: alternative futures of higher education in Malaysia

Sohail Inayatullah (Professor at the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies, Tamkang University, Taiwan)
Ivana Milojević (Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia and Visiting Professor at University of Novi Sad, Serbia)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 6 May 2014




The purpose of this paper is to present the scenarios, visions and strategies that resulted from a five-day foresight workshop for AKEPT (Higher Education Leadership Academy), the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia.


An anticipatory action-learning course/workshop with over 50 lecturers and deans framed by the “six pillars” futures approach. Methods given the most attention were: the futures triangle; causal layered analysis; and scenario planning. Lecturers deliberated for the first three days, and deans for the last two. After their debates, the lecturers and deans presented their findings and recommendations to each other, and to the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. As well, they considered how they as individual scholars can also pursue specific actionable steps towards their preferred futures visions.


The recommendations by lecturers and deans can be systematized in the following categories: establishment of a pilot project; enhancement of digital teaching and learning processes; customization of degrees; changing of the culture in higher education; enhancing collaboration; supporting research activities; rethinking of dominant frames of reference; and anticipating upcoming futures trends.

Research limitations/implications

As the process included lecturers and deans as key participants, and not, for example, students or the community, stakeholder perspectives are limited. Specific actionable steps, as per recommendations, are being pursued by the Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia, as well as by individual participants.


Description of an action learning process in its second year. Year three will continue with a different group of participants who will reflect on the initial findings presented here. Description of the foresight process and findings of this case study may be of value to other ministries of higher education in the region and elsewhere.



Inayatullah, S. and Milojević, I. (2014), "Augmented reality, the Murabbi and the democratization of higher education: alternative futures of higher education in Malaysia", On the Horizon, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 110-126.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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