Creating the University of the Future

 Edited by Ulf-Daniel Ehlers, Laura Eigbrecht, 2024

Creating the University of the Future—A Global View on Future Skills and Future Higher Education is a book about the role of higher education institutions in a world which is changing faster than ever before. Never has it been more urgent to actively shape the global transformation we are facing in order to create the best possible future, and never has there been a greater imperative for students to learn the necessary skills—Future Skills—for this. Their promotion is currently
one of the most debated challenges for higher education institutions all over the world. This book presents visionary higher and tertiary education programs aiming at Future Skills for their graduates. It compiles contributions from more than 50 authors who are engaged in global intergovernmental organizations such as UNESCO and OECD involved in research and policy-making as well as from higher and tertiary education institutions from different countries and continents. With the challenges ahead, the book calls for the “Future Skills Turn” on a globallevel to become reality and demands for rethinking our current educational systems and realities. This volume aims at increasing visibility for existing and emerging innovative teaching and learning practices for educational professionals, while informing educational leaders about the newest Future Skills strategies, and inspiring all educational stakeholders on their journey towards future-ready higher education.


What to expect from “Creating the University of the Future“:

an overview

Part I: Setting the Scene—Future Skills in Higher Education

Part I focuses on introducing the concept and relevance of Future Skills and giving an overview to the reader by introducing the different contributions. The terminology and a working definition for meaning, scope and context of what “Future Skills” as a concept refers to will be elaborated, and the Future Skills concept as developed by Ehlers (2020) is introduced. Additionally, insight into a range of existing Future Skills frameworks in form of a meta-analysis is presented and discussed. In the section’s final chapter, the editors summarize success factors for implementing Future Skills into higher education based on recommendations from all contributing authors.

Part II: Future Skills—Foundations and Shapes of a New Emerging Concept in a Global View

Part II focuses on discussing basic Future Skills concepts and approaches in (global) higher education. The section is composed of a number of Future Skills conversations which were conducted to capture current forefront thinking on Future Skills in higher education, amongst them leading authorities in the field, like Andreas Schleicher (OECD) and Tom Wambeke (ITCILO). Global experts like Tony Bates (Tony Bates Associates Ltd.), Wolfgang Stark (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Francesc Pedró (UNESCO IESALC) each give insights into the important determinants of changing higher education towards Future Skills. The section is concluded by a contribution on a new theory of change for higher education based on a global empirical study.

Part III: Future Skills in Practice—Teaching and Learning

Part III provides a deep dive into higher education practices in different countries and institutions through insight into teaching and learning Future Skills. A Future Skills expert-talk with Angela Duckworth (Character Lab) will lead the way, followed by selected examples of Future Skills-ready higher and tertiary education on a larger scale such as the 42 Coding Schools or the approach of Team Academy.

Part V: Future Skills in Higher Education—The Wider View

Part V widens the perspective and presents selected national and international Future Skills initiatives and approaches. All initiatives aim at making society and lifelong learning future-proof and are integrating educational policy and higher education practices. Here, Singapore’s Future Skills approach is described from two perspectives, followed by examples from the Japanese and European context and an inspirational outlook from New Zealand on the concept of creating a Universal Learning Community for Future Skills.

Part IV: Future Skills in Practice—Assessment

Part IV focuses on the important and hotly debated theme of assessment of Future Skills in higher education. After an introduction to different Future Skills assessment methods and practices, the contributions present a wide range of self-evaluation approaches, formative assessment concepts and teaching-learning integrated “assessment as learning” approaches, as well as the role of concepts such as micro-credentials for validating and recognizing Future Skills.

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