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Higher Education Reform: Looking Back – Looking Forward

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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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Intergenerational Equality and Higher Education: Towards an Age-Friendly Higher Education?

← 342 | 343Maria Slowey

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The really serious issue raised by HE [higher education] expansion is about polarization: about the growing gap between those with access to this good, and those without. Expansion of higher education has been demonstrated as a necessary but not sufficient condition of widening participation, and hence greater ‘fairness’… However, as provision expands it increases the gap between the lifechances of those who participate and those who do not (Watson 2014: 75).

Global demographic patterns point to a dramatic shift in population profiles as the proportion of older people grows relative to younger cohorts. In Europe the upward trajectory has been linear for over 150 years reaching a stage where the increase in life expectancy has come to average 12 months every 5 years (Futurage 2011: 7). Furthermore, this trend shows no sign of abating and the number of people in Europe aged 65 and over is set to increase by 45% between 2008 and 2030. By 2060 it is estimated that over 30% of the population will be in this age group (ibid.).

These trends are not just applicable to the advanced economies of the world. Appreciable changes in the age balance of populations are also taking place at a global level. It is estimated that: (i) 42% of the world’s population now live in countries where there are not enough children to reach the replacement level; (ii) the worldwide population of people aged 60 or over is set to increase from 510 million in 2011...

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