A 2033 perspective on the impact of the skills emphasis of 2023 on Scottish Education and Lifelong Learning, the emergence of the Tertiary Sector, and the ongoing influence of the STEAM Agenda – Navigating the current landscape and future trajectories.


In 2027, following a newly elected Scottish government and on the back of a plethora of reports produced in 2022/2023 urging for Education reform in Scotland (which was subsequently halted by the Cabinet Secretary for Education at the time), Head of the Department for Education and Innovation (est.2025) Bea McLean recruited a cohort of education practitioners from across the various pockets of formal and informal education sectors. Chosen for their gumption, futures thinking, disruptive tendancies and their passion to reform education for the benefit of Scotland (not for the policy makers), their mission was to develop a new framework for Scottish education with ‘learning throughout life powered by STEAM’ as the stimulus, and establish hubs of Lifelong Learning (LLL) across Scotland. In 2030 the first cohort of students arrived here at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh (LLL hub for Edinburgh and the Lothians) to embark on the maiden voyage of the new ‘Challenger Curriculum’. Named after the HMS Challenger, the curriculum was designed to continue the legacy of it’s namesake; to fully explore the potential of unchartered waters (Tertiary education) and in doing so provide participants with learning experiences that enabled them to fully explore their potential.

Today, in 2033, with accounts from the renegade crew, their captain and the participants, we take this opportunity to look at what stoked the fire in the belly of this mighty vessel, the route thus far and look ahead to what’s potentially on the horizon.


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