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

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...

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...

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