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

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...

Post-Taliban Afghan Women Embrace Educational Opportunities

Post-Taliban Afghan Women Embrace Educational Opportunities Enakshi Sengupta American University of Central Asia “I remember my holidays in Kabul and how I had once shuddered seeing my cousins hiding their books under their veil going to a private school, their guilt ridden face showed as if they were stealing something, all they were doing was trying to educate themselves”, Maryam Haidary, 3rd year student , Business Administration, American University of Central Asia. “We had to move to Mazhar e-Sharif, I lost two valuable years of my life as I was not allowed to attend a school, life was hard, very hard, we were struggling to have some basic amenities of life and education was one of them, we are glad that it is behind us,” Samira, 1st year student of Anthropology, American University of Central Asia. Life is now different for Samira and Maryam, and others. They are the bright,...

The World Needs More International Higher Education

The World Needs More International Higher Education Patrick Blessinger St. John's University (NYC) and International HETL Association Internationalisation is the adaptive strategic response of an institution or nation to the forces of globalisation, which itself is a process of increasing interdependence and interconnectedness between countries. No country or sector or institution is immune from the process of globalisation, including higher education. More internationalisation naturally leads to more globalisation, thus creating a virtuous cycle, which helps explain the increasing pace of change of the two phenomena. Internationalisation involves both push and pull factors and, as such, it is both a planned response and a reactive process by institutions (ie, both a cause and effect). Internationalisation can also be viewed as the integration of globalisation into the tripartite mission – teaching, research, service – of the university. This response is operationalised through an institution’s formal internationalisation strategy – an institutional plan with specific...

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