In this phase of the UNESCO IESALC Futures of Higher Education project, youth voices are being incorporated into the conversation on the futures of higher education – their futures of higher education. Youth will have the opportunity to express their perceptions of their current understanding of higher education, share their thoughts on the role of higher education in their future and go beyond to identify challenges and opportunities for the futures of higher education in a broader societal setting.
The rationale for the youth consultation is for the inclusion and empowerment of our future generations. Youth voices are often neglected in the decision-making process, as also evidenced in the relatively low youth participation during the public consultation.
If understandings, perceptions, and hopes are imposed on our future generations, will youth really believe that they can make their own future? Will youth feel trusted that they can decide on what they need? Will youth keep trying to express their own hopes? This phase of the Futures of Higher Education project communicates a clear signal for youth to understand that their futures are in their hands.
The youth consultation is starting in December 2021 and will engage with around 150 young people aged 14-18 through a series of interactive regional workshops organized by UNESCO IESALC with UNESCO teams around the world.
The knowledge and ideas generated by this consultation will help shape the way that we think about and plan for higher education into the next thirty years.