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Title: Future scenarios for institutes of technology in the Irish higher education system : a strategic foresight study
Author: Tobin , Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 0798
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is a foresight study of alternative futures for Institutes of Technology within the Irish higher education system. The research focuses on the potential role and functions for the Institute of Technology sector in 2020. A strategic foresight methodology employing scenario design as the theoretical framework is applied. The general goals and contribution of the research are: to present foresight as a strategic methodology; to record developments and present a . snapshot' of the operating environment of the Institutes of Technology, including higher education trends, and agendas to 2010, and subsequently 2020; to present scenario narratives and alternative future paths for the Institutes of Technology to 2020; and, finally, to invite discussion on the future alternatives for the role and functions of the Institutes of Technology. The key purpose is to offer insights that may assist policy makers in choosing appropriate strategies for higher education in Ireland in 2020. The research identifies two significant challenges (critical uncertainties) relevant to the future determination of the role and functions of the Institutes of Technology for 2020, namely the structure of the higher education system and the relevance of teaching and/or research. As a consequence, four alternative scenarios are outlined: Stratocumulus, a dual higher education system consisting of Community Colleges that are aligned with and act as feeder colleges to the traditional research-orientated Universities; Altostratus, a stratified higher education system consisting of National Technological Universities and traditional research Universities; Altocumulus, a binary higher education system consisting of regionally aligned Institutes of Technology and traditional research-orientated Universities; and, Cirrostratus, a unitary higher education system consisting solely of Universities, where a hierarchy based on reputation has emerged in relation to research. Finally, there is a postscript discussion on factors relevant to choosing a particular scenario as a strategic option for higher education in Ireland to 2020.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available