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 [...]

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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