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Higher Education Reform: Looking Back – Looking Forward

Second Revised Edition

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Edited By Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, Hans G. Schuetze and Andrä Wolter

The central focus of this book is the concept of higher education reform in the light of an international and global comparative perspective. After decades of far-reaching reform, higher education around the world has profoundly changed and now has to face the challenges of the present. This volume takes a close look at these changes, the drivers of change, their effects and possible future scenarios. In their contributions the authors discuss a variety of basic concepts: learning and teaching in higher education; financing and quality assurance; governance change; massification vs. equity and equality; internationalization and mobility, the implementation of lifelong structures in higher education.
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The Future of Higher Education: Views from Higher Education Research

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Introduction

Looks at the future of higher education can be characterised in three ways. We note, first, that discussions about the future of higher education have been quite popular in recent years. Obviously, a need is felt to look ahead and prepare oneself for future challenges. Second, a glance at the future scenarios suggests that many of them expect an increasing similarity of higher education systems and processes in higher education across countries. Higher education is often viewed as being on the way to become more and intertwined globally; as a consequence, all countries are believed to have to adapt to some extent to the global main stream – in terms of enrolment quota as well as in terms of the modes of diversification of higher education, governance and management, internationalisation policies, etc. Third, we might say that scenarios of the future of higher education often look very boring. Most of them assume that we just can extrapolate trends of the recent past or that we just have overcome the weaknesses of the past and moving a new situation which will last for a long time.

Altogether, a need is widely felt to reflect possible futures of higher education, even though uncertainty is a matter of procedure. Actors in higher education have to take into consideration possible futures, because today’s decisions affect higher education for many years to come. Often, international organisations, such as the OECD, embark on such forward-looking activities in order to identify...

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