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

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....

Lifelong Education as an Equalizer

Lifelong Education as an Equalizer Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association Throughout much of human history hereditary privilege was often used as a means of organising society (for example, politically, economically and socially) and allocating resources. Hereditary privilege was not determined by one’s talents or skills or motivation or any other self-determining factor but rather by the class, gender and race one was born into. In other words, throughout much of human history, one’s status within society and one’s lot in life, to a large degree, was determined primarily by factors beyond one’s own control. Revolutions upset the established order The hereditary systems of power and privilege tended to create a system wherein the ruling class benefited by maintaining the status quo and by maintaining a monopoly over how resources were allocated within society. This is not surprising since established orders have a vested interest in maintaining...

Brazilian Students Encounter Kindness in American Classrooms

Brazilian Students Encounter Kindness in American Classrooms Susan Codone Mercer University, USA “Buying a $300 textbook is insane! Who does that? At home we check out our textbooks from the libraries. Nobody has to pay for books. And pizza and hamburgers every day for lunch in the cafeteria? That’s crazy. At home we might have those once every few weeks. But here, in America, my professors know my name. I like that my professors know me personally and that they care about getting to know me. I can even visit them in their office. I’ve never been to a professor’s office before. My professors are kind to me.” Surprising? These are the words of three Brazilian students spending a year studying at Mercer University’s School of Engineering in Macon, Georgia. The three students, identified by their first name only as Matheus, Aline F., and Aline J., talked to me over...

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