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Growth of Universities

I’ll happily admit my bias: higher needs to be rethought and restructured. But it’s important to take an accurate look at where we are and where we might end up (a subject for futures thinking, as stated previously). Higher education is not (yet?) in decline. It’s growing. Rapidly. Daily announcements are made about funding for higher education: research, new buildings, new campuses, etc. Globally, enrollment in HE increased from 68 million in 1991 to 144 million in 2005. The need for education has never been greater. But while education is in demand, the current model seems untenable. The expense of education in the developed world is not feasible as a model for the next 3 billion people that require education in developing regions of the world. I personally think online and networked learning will play a central role in expanding access, improving quality, and reducing the costs of education (see Daniels, Kanwar, Uvalic-Trumbec). It’s time to question those aspects of our thinking about education that were formed in a pre-internet era and are no longer needed.

One Comment

  1. Nigel Burke wrote:

    George,

    It is interesting to look at this in terms of Professor Clayton Christensen’s disruptive innovation ( http://rusdens.tumblr.com/post/62596252/review-of-disrupting-class-how-disruptive-innovation )

    The developing world seems to be a great example example of current non-consumption, that is where people are trying to get a job done but the available solutions are too expensive.

    Christensen’s model would suggest that these markets are the idea sectors for new innovations to develop as they are out of the scope of traditional education providers

    Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 4:49 am | Permalink