Showing posts from November, 2021
Unlike the Hollywood aliens, the future of Higher Education can not be expected to land in the United States alone. The American universities, of course, lead the world in academic prestige, cutting-edge research and endowments. They are, collectively, the best and the brightest, and attract the best researchers and best students from around the world. And they are not just intellectual world leaders but also represent the biggest education industry in the world, sprouting an ecosystem built around the success and prestige of the great universities. However, if higher education has to change and make sense in the future, this is exactly what needs to change. I write this as I am rather tired of reading literature coming out of the United States which portrays the future of higher education in the universalist terms. It seems that there is only one reality - that of higher education in America - and every other variation from around the world represents intermediate stages of a journey
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Sitting at a meeting where I am told that today's learners would rather sit in a café than in a library, I heard the penny drop. Collectively speaking, we no longer have a clue what it is that we are doing in higher education. Some conservative commentators see it more clearly than the left-wing ones: That higher education has become an inward-looking credentialing system completing disconnected from any social or even economic utility. It has become so because most of the education, giving in to the consumer economy, is being designed as light entertainment, completely divorced from its own rhetoric. Here is my point: A higher education is nothing if it is not uncomfortable. Aristotle made the point to an impatient Alexander: That there is no royal road to education! Change, which requires, by definition, about abandoning the comfort zones, is uncomfortable: There is no way to soft-serve this. And, yet, as we bring market logic everywhere, education must become easier - comfortab
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