Futures studies and scenarios of degrees in universities of technology

21 Jul 2016

This article is a reflection on the use of scenario analysis to examine the repercussions of offering degrees rather than diplomas in universities of technology. Scenarios are exploratory, discursive tools aimed at promoting discussion and reflection, rather than projections or extrapolations, in order to ascertain the consequences of actions as yet unperformed. In universities of technology, any future degree scenario must engage with the implications of current and changing society and the workplace. The use of scenario analysis is illustrated through a description of degree scenarios in the professional fields of Graphic Design and Emergency Medical Care. Issues of staff readiness, student employability and difficulties emerging from an unprepared society are just some of the issues raised in the degree scenarios. Through designing scenarios, staff are made more aware of the complexities of changing qualifications and can perhaps avoid some of the more obvious pitfalls and also generally adopt a more systematic approach.