About Shift Happens

Why think about the future of higher education?

Higher education is entering an era of massive and ongoing change and complexity. Accelerating advances in digital technologies and science, along with increasing global environmental and social challenges such as climate change and widening inequality, are the hallmarks of this era, and are being felt by every part of society.

The network seeks to investigate how universities might be able to navigate the new challenges, and also seeks to shape how others in our ecosystems (such as students, local and global communities, and policy-makers) navigate them. We continue to be crucially and uniquely positioned to shape how society responds to the enormous challenges it faces through our education, research and knowledge production, and engagement activities.

First Steps

The Shift Happens network had its inception in a 2-day symposium on 10-11 October 2019. The symposium brought together invited leaders in educational thought and practice in higher education across Australia. The participants spent two days engaging in a ‘futuring’ process for higher education – that is, drawing upon data, evidence, trends and scenarios to think systematically about proactively designing steps to change things for the better.

The network is currently developing a white paper that will be shared with university senior leadership. It will draw upon the outcomes of the symposium, additional research and current examples of practice, and will recommend some ways forward to develop the future-capability of institutions.

Become an active collaborator in the Shift Happens network by sharing your own practices and projects that are re-imagining education for the future.