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

A catalyst for change

A catalyst for change Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association The continuing universalisation of higher education reflects the growing democratisation of knowledge around the world. In this emerging paradigm, higher learning is no longer the province of the knowledge elite, but is increasingly available to all. For instance, with the move towards open educational resources, massive open online courses, open universities, and the like, access to higher learning is now available to virtually anyone. In many respects, the continued de-monopolisation of higher learning allows for greater political, social, economic and personal empowerment. Democratising knowledge for all Of course, this is not a new phenomenon. Arguably, the first significant democratisation of knowledge occurred with the advent of the Printing Revolution in the 15th century with the invention of the printing press. The wide-ranging utility of the printing press laid the foundation for future political, social, economic and scientific revolutions such...

Higher education for a hyper-connected world

Higher education for a hyper-connected world Patrick Blessinger St. John's University and HETL Association In many respects the world has become a global knowledge society of interconnected and interdependent human activity that shares increasingly common ways to communicate and interact politically, economically and socially. Yet, at the same time, the world continues to be highly diverse in these areas as well as linguistically and culturally. The world has become more homogeneous at the global level, but still remains highly heterogeneous at the local level. An emerging hyper-connected world The emerging global knowledge society, facilitated mainly by international trade and travel and ubiquitous global communications such as internet and wireless based technologies, is a space of hyper-connected human activity in which people increasingly interact with each other on a regular basis, irrespective of physical space and time boundaries. It is a hyper-connected network where everything is quickly becoming connected to everything...

Educational Research Methodology Framework

Educational Research Methodology Framework Patrick Blessinger St. John's University and HETL Association The aim of this article is to provide a brief overview of the educational research methodology framework and how it came into existence and how it might be most useful to higher education faculty, researchers, and students as well as others involved in educational research, inside or outside of academia. The framework may be particularly useful to those in education and the social sciences but it may also have applicability to those in the humanities as well as professional disciplines like business and the healthcare sciences. Key Definitions Broadly speaking, research can be defined as the process of systematic inquiry to better understand the nature of a particular phenomenon and the nature of the relationships among certain variables (that are of interest to the researcher) related to that phenomenon. The phenomenon can take place in the natural world or the...

Towards an inclusive global knowledge society

Towards an inclusive global knowledge society Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association The second half of the 20th century was characterised as a period of enormous expansion of higher education worldwide, especially through opening access by removing long-standing ethnic, gender and class barriers. As a result, the first half of the 21st century of higher education will most likely be characterised by its remarkable heterogeneity in terms of student diversity and institutional diversification. Higher education today reflects a system that has not only emerged into a more democratised system but also into a global power system. Core issues in democratisation The principles of democratisation impact on every part of higher education at both the macro and micro levels – not just access issues but also governance, management, policies, structures, processes and other core functions of higher education. The process of democratisation has led to a diversification of institutional...

Why global higher education must be democratised

Why Global Higher Education must be Democratised Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association In the broadest sense of the word, democratization is the application of democratic principles and the process of transitioning to a system based on such principles. Thus, the principles of democracy can be applied to any structure or system, not strictly governmental or political systems. The core universal principles of democracy include freedom, responsibility, and the equality and protection of universal human rights. Individual freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin known as personal agency – the extent to which agency is allowed to develop is the degree to which self-determination is afforded to people. A human right is a birthright that every human being is entitled to by virtue of being human – the extent to which rights are protected determines the degree to which justice is afforded to people....

Building a Global Knowledge Society through Universal Lifelong Education

Building a Global Knowledge Society through Universal Lifelong Education Patrick Blessinger International HETL Association and St. John’s University An explosion of new information is created every minute and, aided by the continuous development of globally connected information and communication technologies, this creation of new information continues to grow exponentially. In an age of increasing ubiquity of information and knowledge, and through the ongoing development of MOOCs and OERs for instance, it has become increasingly easier for people anywhere in the world to acquire high quality knowledge on demand and for free. These and other phenomena continue to drive the development of the emerging global knowledge society. Data vs Information vs Knowledge Although the terms data, information, and knowledge are often used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. In information theory, the primary characteristic that distinguishes these concepts from each other is the degree and quality of meaning and processing applied to...

Why are Fewer Foreign Students Heading to the U.S. and More to Australia?

​Why are Fewer Foreign Students Heading to the U.S. and More to Australia? Patrick Blessinger International HETL Association and St. John’s University The U.S. has arguably led the world in higher education for much of the twenty-first century. But while there is much to be proud of, there are also some trends that should give U.S. educational leaders and policy makers cause for concern. The share of international students who choose a U.S. university has dropped from 23 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, other countries including Australia and the U.K. have experienced significant share increases. And although the U.S. ranks high in post-secondary degree attainment, its student loan debt now exceeds $1 trillion with average student loan debt near $30,000. Private expenditure per student is eight times higher in the U.S. than in Europe and this has real potential economic impact. The rich legacy of democratic education in the U.S....

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