AfterNext: Decoding the Future of Higher Education in 2030
In the world of academic innovation there are many experts; experienced entrepreneurs who know what needs to be done next to improve faculty and student success in the rapidly changing environment of academe. More bandwidth, more funding, more professional development, more attention to quality and to test security; all very important — and all very unhelpful when one is tasked with visioning not what should come next — but what will come AFTER next.
Higher education is in the midst of turbulent change. An academic culture steeped in reflection and teaching is being disrupted and reconstructed into a globally connected ecosystem of networked, 24X7X365 co-creators and co-learners. Roles and paradigms held dear and true are challenged. The rate of change, the unpredictable, unrelenting emergence of new, disruptive models makes planning and preparing for the future even more conflicted, confusing – and critical.
This was the challenge facing the University System of Georgia in 2013. A recently completed report on distance learning needs had surfaced many critical needs — but few visionary directions — for the System to consider or plan from. This need was clear to Chancellor “Hank” Huckaby in November of 2013 when he addressed a convening of the System’s leading educational entrepreneurs at a symposium entitled “MOOCs and Beyond.” Challenging the leaders to examine and explore the future fearlessly, he acknowledged, “…we don’t know what lies beyond…and that’s important.” This observation framed and guided the System initiative, and Georgia’s intent, to “Invent the Beyond.”
KeywordsHigh Education Stakeholder Group Critical Success Factor Scenario Planning National Focus
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