Friday, March 1, 2019

The future of higher education

I've noted in many previous posts and in my published works that, while U.S. and European universities may be experiencing stagnation or decline in student enrollment, enrollments in Asia, Africa, South America, and elsewhere are and will continue to explode. Joshua Kim makes this point in his essay for Inside Higher Education.

Enhancing Student Learning and Development in Cross-Border Higher Education (Roberts & Komives, Eds, 2016) proposes that internationalization of higher education is inevitable. It also urges thought leaders to discern what qualities will most contribute to enhanced student learning and development throughout the world. Student affairs and student development are unrecognized in many western settings as an important element that enhances the student experience. International settings vary even more in their awareness and dedication to the wholistic learning that has made such a difference in U.S. settings.

Joshua poses important questions:

  • How should U.S. institutions change to take advantage of growing global demand for higher education?
  • Should those of us who work in academia be thinking more about building international career experience?
  • Should graduate programs prioritize international experience and global training?
  • Does you institution have a global higher ed strategy?
My view is yes, yes, yes, and mostly no to the above. Those who seek interesting, transformative, and thriving careers in higher education should not be complacent about the shift in opportunity toward countries and settings outside of the U.S. and Europe. Engaging in one's current setting to urge all institutions to get serious about internationalization would be a great first step.

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