Higher education TomorrowThe 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...

Coventry University: Good International Partnerships Start at Home

Coventry University: Good International Partnerships Start at Home Barbara Howell and Patrick Blessinger Coventry University and International HETL Association If universities want to develop a portfolio of inter-institutional partnerships around the world, they need to adopt not only a transparent and collaborative approach abroad, but a holistic philosophy that starts at home. Coventry University's partnership model uses link tutors, subject specialists, staff development, staff and student exchanges, knowledge transfer and collaborative research. Using this model Coventry has created 18 highly successful partnerships around the world in 14 different countries. Here, we explain how and why we believe this model is successful and we invite other universities to share what is working and not working for them. The partnership model adopted by Coventry University works because considerable time and effort is put into understanding the partners' needs and ensuring it's a relationship that benefits both institutions. Each partner is assigned a...

Is Malaysia The Regional Leader In International Higher Education?

Is Malaysia the Regional Leader in International Higher Education? Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta International HETL Association and University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus While restructuring its educational policies in the 1990s, the Malaysian government realised it would not be able to provide higher education to a significant proportion of its population through its own public institutions. In 1995, the Malaysian government was faced with a situation where 20% of Malaysian students studied abroad. This cost the country an estimated $800 million USD, nearly 12% of Malaysia’s current account deficit. Malaysia became one of the top countries sending its own students to study abroad. Faced with such a predicament the Malaysian government embarked on a program to turn Malaysia into a fully developed knowledge based economy. To that end, the Malaysian government sought to partner with foreign higher educational institutions to offer more educational opportunities for Malaysians on their own soil. The ultimate aim was...

Higher Education Needs to Build Global Learning Communities

Higher Education Needs to Build Global Learning Communities Patrick Blessinger and Olga Kovbasyuk International HETL Association and Institute for Meaning-Centered Education Globalisation in the 21st century continues to bring about many new political, economic, social, and technological developments. Today’s students therefore tend to be more digitally savvy, mobile and transitory, socially connected, and more democratic in their worldview. This new reality has placed greater demands on educators in all countries to create more contemporary learning environments that reflect the pluralistic nature of life on our planet. To that end, we believe that virtual global learning communities have the potential to create more authentic and experiential learning spaces for students. Global learning is the cultivation of multiple, diverse, and global perspectives. It allows one to develop the intercultural competencies necessary to become a global citizen who can understand issues from multiple perspectives and gain a deeper appreciation of and tolerance for...

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