Less than twenty years from now, can you imagine what our ever-shifting world will look like? Will knowledge, science and research take their rightful place in this world as seekers of truth and understanding? And what role will universities play in this process as research initiators, science bearers and knowledge brokers?
Group of university students, early-stage researchers and young scientists coming from ten countries of the Danube Region conducted a strategic foresight and projected various future scenarios regarding the world of science, university and academia in the region of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe in the year of 2040.
Download and read the project report below.
The DRC Strategic Foresight Meeting took place in Vienna from 13th to 15th of July 2022 during the 17th Summer School. The participants had the opportunity to present their work and result so far by showing the possible scenarios concerning the four different topics: University Autonomy and Governance, Science and Learning in Digital Era, Scientific Research for European Decision Making, and Employability of Students and Early-stage researchers.
Some valuable insights have been raised through an important dialogue concerning the future of research and higher education in the Danube Region. Participants of the Summer School alongside Enora Bennetot Pruvot, Deputy Director Governance, Funding & Public Policy Development, European University Association (EUA), who also gave a presentation on “University Autonomy in Europe: the EUA Scorecard”, gave useful feedback on how to eventually improve the scenarios within the project.
Ljiljan Veselinović, who presented “Science and learning in the digital era”, stated:
“I was positively surprised by their knowledge of the argument in question, and how they critically evaluated the proposed measures within the scenarios. In this sense, I think we have received recommendations on how we can improve, for example, they suggested that every lecture should be recorded, highlighting the necessary changes in the professors’ teaching approach, the student-professor dialogue, and how to increase the commitment of students. When it comes to Enora Bennetot Pruvot, she pointed out some linguistic deficiencies, and as well as from the participants, her recommendations were really useful and will be essential for the improvement of our research.”
Feedback also came in different iterations for Lukaš Danko, one of the participants of the DRC Strategic Foresight Meeting for “Scientific Research for European Decision-Making”, who commented:
“The feedback was twofold - We got insight from students on how to further develop the specifics of trust in knowledge sharing and they encouraged us to add more practical tasks to make it more interactive. Additionally, I was inspired to link this topic to policy-making specifics, especially in terms of communication and interaction between various stakeholders. In the case of strategic foresight, my group could discuss differences in policy making in the Danube region, and various aspects of the EU and Balkan integration were discussed with implications for both scenarios and recommendations. Furthermore, the role of interdisciplinary think tanks was mentioned along with highlighting remote working in science to policy (this will be implemented again in scenarios and recommendations- especially in preferable one).”
DRC participants also met with the idea of touching upon the swifter integration of the Balkan region into the EU in their scenarios, as well as considering the specific divergences between the region's countries. With regards to Covid and more specific scenarios, to make sure every possible vision and ideology is taken into account, it is necessary to heavily rely on research concerning remote working possibilities - not only in the area of digital learning but also in the scope of employability of students and early-stage researchers.
This successful meeting was proof that there is always room for improvement, and for the next meeting, adjustments will be made by putting emphasis on certain aspects raised during this discussion.
We would like to thank everyone for their active participation and input, for bringing their expertise and experience, and for engaging in such fruitful, constructive, and open exchanges throughout the three days of DRC Strategic Foresight Meeting. Also big thank you to the IDM team for carrying out the project!
We look forward to the final stages of the project!
Between the 27th and 29th of March, twenty bright minds from all over Europe have gathered in Vienna for developing possible scenarios
concerning the future of research and higher education in the Danube Region.
After getting numerous insights on strategic foresight methodology provided by our guest professors during the lectures, participants have worked within their assigned group and dealt with four different thematic areas: University Autonomy and Governance, Science and Learning in Digital Era, Scientific Research for European Decision Making, and Employability of Students and Early-stage researchers.
It was just the first meeting, but the proactiveness of the participants, as well as the early results they have already brought, clearly show that the project outcome will be a valuable contribution to analysing what is ahead of us when it comes to the future scenarios of higher education in the region!
Therefore, we thank all the participants for being a great group of young researchers and for bringing their enthusiasm to Vienna, the visiting lecturers for the valuable inputs provided, and the IDM team for implementing the project!
The first in-person meeting is just the beginning of the project, which will continue throughout the upcoming months. Don't forget to follow our social media channels to keep on track of it!