FSD3603 University Students' Views on the Future 2021

The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

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  • Salonen, Anna Sofia (University of Helsinki. Faculty of Theology)
  • Laiho, Marjukka (University of Eastern Finland. Philosophical Faculty)


COVID-19, climate change, expectation, future expectations, students (college), tertiary education


The dataset consists of self-administered written texts by university students on their future expectations. The writing invitation asked participants to imagine what the world and their own lives would look like in 2050. Participants were directed to imagine themselves in 2050 and write a letter to their present selves from the perspective of their future selves. In the letter they were asked to describe what the world and their own lives were like in 2050.

The writing guidelines instructed participants to start the letter by describing the imaginary situation from which they would write the letter. Participants were then asked to describe what had changed for the better in the world and how this change for the better had been made possible. Participants were also allowed to write freely on topics of their choice. A series of supporting questions offered the opportunity to reflect on, for example, the positive events and developments that had occurred in the world and in participants' lives. The writing invitation also referred to issues such as climate change and COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact of those on the economy and political decision-making. These themes were also central to several of the texts that were received in response to the writing invitation.

Background information included the participant's gender, age group, field of study, and stage of study. The data were organised into an easy to use HTML version at FSD.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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