Dr William Lawton, Mamun Ahmed, Teresa Angulo, Anastasia Axel-Berg, Annie Burroes and Alex Katsomitros
Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
Research, September 2013
Our research forms part of the Leadership Foundation membership benefit. Hard copies of this Paper have been distributed to all member institutions and the PDF is available for members to download by clicking the image below.
This ‘horizon scan’ of higher education in 2020 is based on telephone interviews conducted in May and June 2013, other conversations by phone and e-mail, and the Observatory’s extrapolation of current trends in international higher education and the public discourse around them. The core interviewees are listed in the Annex, along with the questions asked of them.
There are many possible ways to approach and present this subject matter. The approach here was based on a number of considerations, the first of which were the terms of reference for the paper. These specified the increasing importance of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and transnational education (TNE) in university strategies. The paper provides description and analysis of trends in these areas and considers their future directions. The terms of reference also specified the sustainability of recruitment, mobility, partnerships, and the implications for leadership in internationalisation. These are all covered.
Other sections cover funding, a student-centred perspective, trade liberalisation and international rankings. The first two were judged to be essential. The third was to provide continuity with Sir Drummond Bone’s 2008 paper for the UK government, ‘Internationalisation of HE: A Ten-Year View’, to which this paper was envisaged as a follow-up piece. Rankings made the cut because of their expanding influence over university strategy and government policy. A concluding note on disruptive political change was included as a reminder that prediction and planning are both precarious exercises.
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