The Edgeless University (.pdf) argues, that while university enrollment continues to increase, universities are in an increasingly “fragile state”. Growing competition, heavy reliance on public funding (which is made even more insecure in today’s economy), technology growth, open content, and social media/networks are forcing universities to adapt. The author states that technology is the core of the change (p. 8). This isn’t entirely accurate. Technology is one of many change pressures. The real change pressure is found on points along the longer time lime of change: how we interact with information and with each other. Today’s technology is only one point on the timeline. Language, Gutenberg, and the scientific method all occupy a role in increasing the ability for individuals and society to create/access/validate information.
This report, while focused on UK, provides a good overview of technological and policy concerns universities face. To increase relevance, universities need to become “edgeless”, extending current roles to include informal, collaborative, and participatory learning.