The Higher Education Tomorrow academic blog is devoted to the systematic research-based analysis of global higher education and its future.

Why Universal and Life-Long Higher Education is the Next Step in Advancing the Social Contract

Why Universal and Life-Long Higher Education is the Next Step in Advancing the Social Contract Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association Nearly a century after John Dewey published the landmark book Democracy and Education, the principles of learning he espoused for democratic societies are applicable to higher education. He saw education as the primary vehicle through which democracies develop socially responsible citizens, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values to become full participants in the economy and democratic social order. By now it is clear that, in an increasingly complex and risk-filled world, all citizens require increasingly prolonged periods of learning beyond basic schooling. Higher education for all becomes a gateway to lifetimes of learning. The Rapid Transformation of Higher Education For most of its 800 year history, higher education has progressed at an evolutionary pace, but changes have come at a faster pace in the past...

Lifelong Learning as a Human Right

Lifelong Learning as a Human Right Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association Higher education systems around the world have been undergoing dramatic changes over the past few generations. In fact, the changes have been so dramatic that one could argue we are experiencing an educational revolution that has impacted on every aspect of higher education. This is perhaps most evident in the fact that participation in higher education worldwide is expected to grow to 262 million students by 2025, up from 28 million in 1970, according to the OECD. The worldwide demand for higher education is being driven in large part by increasing globalisation and the internationalisation of higher education, resulting in new access and delivery models and increased student choice and mobility. For example, the European Bologna process aims at providing a continental-wide framework to better connect disparate higher education systems across Europe and also at...

Partners In Dialogue: Creating Meaningful Learning Environments

Partners in Dialogue: Creating Meaningful Learning Environments Olga Kovbasyuk and Patrick Blessinger Institute for Meaning-Centered Education and International HETL Association During the spring semester of 2012, we conducted an online course entitled “Coming of Age on Screen”. The aim of the course was to foster US-Russian dialogues from the perspective of meaning-centered learning and thereby improve intercultural communication competencies. We would like to share our pedagogical experiences from that course. This course brought together 50 students from the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law in Russia and Mount Holyoke and Brandeis Universities in the USA. The students and faculty discussed films while practicing Russian and English communication skills. The classes used videoconference technologies, Skype and Facebook to interact with each other, synchronously and asynchronously. This experience allowed us to address the following questions: How can an open meaning-making environment promote dialogic and authorial teaching-learning strategies and behaviors? How might...

Learning-Scapes: Cultivating Meaningful and Sustainable Learning Ecosystems

Learning-Scapes: Cultivating Meaningful and Sustainable Learning Ecosystems Patrick Blessinger International HETL Association In Being a University (2011, p143), Ronald Barnett describes his idea of the emerging university of the future. He calls this type of university the ecological university. According to Barnett, the ecological university is not only concerned with protecting and creating a sustainable natural environment but is also concerned about “…a much wider ambit, embracing the personal, social, cultural, institutional and technological environments and knowledge of those environments; in short, the world in its fullest senses.” The ecological university recognizes that it does not operate in isolation of its broader environment. Rather, the ecological university endeavors to cultivate authentic and purposeful interconnections with its broader environments through meaningful and diverse ways of learning and inquiry. Holistic Learning Ecosystem In this sense, a learning-scape may be defined as a conceptual construct that shapes our perceptions of our learning environments...