THE FUTURE OF HIGHER
(All chapters are intended for continuing revision)
Volume I - Chapter Two
Last updated Mar. 18, 2008
NEW STRUCTURES FOR LIFELONG GLOBAL EDUCATION? In Virtual Space
How can human society use the Internet and forthcoming powerful technologies--and free online courses--to provide essential education, job retraining and health care for everyone on the planet? (3.10) There still are serious technology limitations that will be discussed in another chapter. Meanwhile the crucial issues are political and financial, and about some sort of administrative structure for setting standards and developing global-scale agreement. . A first question is: how can the Internet be used to begin the process of essential planning, including decisions about possible types of structure and organization needed to plan and direct the process? Can existing--often overly bureaucratic--educational organizations be networked to do the job? The `International Resource Group' of the National University Telecommunications Network has been asking if existing systems throughout the world need direction, support and encouragement in governing global learning efforts. Or is a new global planning system needed?
First, perhaps we need to think about overcoming the barriers, such as the `social hurricanes' and problems looked at in the last chapter. It would be easier to replace buildings, as we will discuss in 3.4. So hurricane is not an adequate metaphor. Perhaps we should speak of `cultural termites’ that are undermining the foundations of organizational structures for the preservation, transmission and creation of knowledge. Or perhaps the `storm’—Duderstadt speaks of--might better be described as a flood that is washing away foundations of academia that appeared to be solid. Educause reported on some first waves of those `floodwaters,' that `are beginning to transform how people learn, such as educational blogging, mobile learning, `wikis' to provide learning everywhere and new tools that `delight' and develop creative thinking as they instruct. That will be discussed here in later chapters.'
Some bureaucrats scorn the idea of providing `education for all' until humanity can provide conventional schools and qualified teachers for every neighborhood in the world. One online (DEOS) debate insisted that "education in any format, in any language or set of languages, delivered by any means, can and will only reach a fraction of the people who have the ability to access it." A high percentage of earth's six billion people, it was asserted, have no ability to access technology-based education, and "reaching the have-nots is the really tough part." Another, in reply said that "If you mean a university-quality, individually delivered and mentored education, you are probably right" with today's technology. But he described forthcoming technologies (see 1.3) that can enable "hundreds of thousands of asynchronous learning courses, in every language of the world" and "see learners forming dynamic consuming communities" as communication capacity becomes available and inexpensive." (See Peru experiment in 3.7.
Brad Jenson suggested a `Voice-of-America style initiative 'Low Earth Orbit satellites' to provide worldwide Internet access across all national boundaries, with low cost wireless interfaces with no connection charge. There might be a learner-centric search engine and directory. Many basic courses might be free, some cheap with thousands of options. "The Internet is already evolving in this direction with blogging, etc. It's beginning to self-organize." David Cavallo of the MIT Media Center (2002) was concerned that "the latent potential of the world population has been grossly underestimated as a result of prevailing mindsets that limit the design of interventions to improve the evolution of the global learning environment." One suggestion: Education connecting North America, Russia, China, Korea and Netherlands with Advanced Network Services < http://www.gloriad.org/> This pioneering project includes high quality video conferences, disaster alerts, cooperation in major research, facilitating distance leaning and interconnecting of students in education at all levels.
Chapters of this volume will ask how `global virtual `intelligent' communities of lifelong and advanced learning' can be created and their quality improved by the use of emerging powerful new technologies. We begin with the thesis that a global virtual education system in cyberspace is now appearing through the initiative of students, faculty, researchers and planners. A beginning is seen in a vast number of experiments and efforts to develop more effective technologies and electronic modules and packages for distance learning and to bring rich resources into on campus courses and research projects. Unfortunately there is too little coordination and global planning . which raises the question of administration and sources of leadership. Or do we anticipate that things will just grow in an ecological human system? One dream worth exploring might be seen in `Second Life,' <http://secondlife.com> where over nine million people do all kinds of things in a virtual world they help created. Similarly there might be a "universal university" simulated community in which every student on earth might meet and do projects together.
Perhaps those who meet to plan new models for a `global learning system' need to replace tired formal meeting styles with new kinds of online meetings where the quality of planning is technologically improved: See 3.10 and <www.uia.org/uiadocs/ignorant.htm> and <www.haven.net/haven/faq.htm>. Note for example: <www.tappedin.org> And lets assume a whole systems approach: Instead of speaking of an information society' or a `knowledge-based society,' Resnik says that our goal should be a `creative society,' the quality of innovation that has been stimulated by Internet and Web. Brown (2001) says that "information is usually considered independent of any particular individual," as it can be looked up in a book or online, and knowledge is associated with a knower, what is known for example by a scientist. One can have a great deal of information and not know how to use it well.
Before we report some background experience in this chapter, some would propose that we ask what might be learned from the history of `higher' education. If the future is likely to be best researched in universities, is there something to be learned from (Husen 1994) four higher education models that have been widely copied around the world: the Humboldtian research university (Germany), the British `Oxbridge' tutor model, the French `grandes ecoles, and the University of Chicago model as developed by Hutchins. Could each suggest ideas for a global virtual model for lifelong learning? Could these various types of existing meta-universities provide clues for future global planning and governance of a global networking system?. What kind of local, regional, national and global administration is needed for a lifelong global system? For example, who is to govern the technology? We cannot yet predict what it will be, but it might probably involve wireless Internet connections and a network of space satellites dedicated exclusively to education. Also, as cable television expands from hundreds to thousands of channels perhaps hundreds can carry two-way, interactive specialized education to the planet. There may be a network, or networks, of neighborhood electronic learning centers, networks of universities and schools, online electronic textbooks and course modules and much more. (See in 3.8.) So this chapter begins to raise questions about administration, coordination and planning for virtual lifelong learning, whatever model (chapters 1.6 to 1.10) or combinations of models emerging in distance learning and online open universities? What can best make education for everyone in the world. What can we learn from existing efforts, including some ideas reported in this chapter? We do not yet know what new designs for planning and administration are needed or who will design them--partly because we do not yet know what powerful new technologies will enable in the next two decades , so we need much more experimentation and research. See: Devlin 2001)
Can we rebuild—if
only in virtual space—new forms of institution and administration that can
empower lifelong learning on a global scale, and that does not limit essential
transformation of learning? Despite the dangers, which the social hurricanes
bring into present education, don't forthcoming powerful technologies also offer solutions and new
When we speak of administration, planning and organization we are concerned with far more
than technology for a business office, faculty recruitment and training and
other administrative work. Effective technologies are improving the quality of
those tasks; but that must be under girded with new insights from cognition
studies and so forth. Administration and
institutionalization are only some foundations for `learning communities that
must empower collective memory, collective intelligence, collective action,
collective imagination, collective peer review and collective public service.
Academia has not yet restructured its global aspects, to bring essential
education to everyone in developing nations also.
Where and how can a search begin for needed larger holistic blueprints and architectures for new institutional and therefore also administrative structures (this chapter); and perhaps more important for a teaching/learning structure (volume III here), for a research structure (Volume II here) and for a public service structure , at least in `virtual space?’ Will this require a grand new design for global lifelong education? `Make no small plans, it has been said, `for they have no power to move minds.’ Berners-Lee, who gets credit for the World Wide Web, has said: that the `global village idea' remind us that the world is now a unit of shared responsibility. Maybe as `computer hacking' graduate students initiated many of the enabling technologies, so also hacking students (in the old meaning of the word as experimentation) will help develop the virtual structures for global education?
Here--in the hope that they can stimulate thinking--is a discussion of some ideas and models from brainstorming for global lifelong learning administration and planning. To the extent that it centers in universities, a network of campuses could create learning communities for the needs and interests of individual learners built around their talents and hoped for roles in society. This could be a market-oriented model in which many schools and business corporations offer courses in perhaps a more collaborative way, It might be an `ecological model' for a consortium of research universities that would seek to solve humanities major problems, or a research and development model in renewed cooperation with the private sector. (Cole 1884). It might be;a `bottom-up' model that begins with the needs of neighborhood and regions; a leadership development model that builds skills learning around professional development, with the understanding that many more kinds of jobs might be conceived as valued professions.
Whatever the model, the `global village’ idea is not helpful enough. Instead, we ought to envisage the venue for global lifelong education as a `largely unplanned city’ with all of the problems of urban sprawl, depersonalization, environments not healthy for humans, difficult often unmanageable problems and much more. Could new and larger scale research discover ways to create a grand design for a worldwide, human-centered learning system and new `institutional’ structures for the space age? (3.8) Can planners-- in virtual space--find ways to create varied types of `learning communities’ that are human-centered, not just institutional? In the next chapter—on technology—we will discuss enlarged dimensions of human/machine collaboration for the accomplishment of all of these tasks.
A symposium on the future of higher education was held at Aspen, Colorado in September 2000. Thomas Hughes, author of Rescuing Prometheus, speaking about managing the creation of large technological systems, warned that “those making predictions about the future of higher education are doing so with incomplete knowledge.” (Hughes 2001) The history of how technologies have transformed social systems in the past can suggest “the likely future of technology-enabled learning. The Internet and related technologies may indeed generate a socio-technological revolution “with cascading effects.” Yet it most likely will not be what we expect and need, just as also the results of the second industrial revolution have not been as expected, often because of entrenched forces against needed change, but more often because future predictions were built on assumptions and values from the past...and that do not take adequately into account what changes will come as, for example, cheap cell phones access the Internet with computer power, streaming video and much more not yet imagined but now is the time to plan what needs to be done.
For example, Hughes said, many (unfortunately?) assume that `technology-enabled' learning will take on “corporation management style.” He illustrated the problem by the experience of Daimler, the German engineer who got the idea of automobiles, but who made the mistake of placing his engines “on familiar platforms, bicycles and former horse drawn carriages.” So too, Hughes warned, most current anticipations of future developments in technology based learning are only “slight improvements in existing educational practices. For example, most `distance education' is so far a carry over from traditional classroom teaching.” History would suggest that “radical breakthrough inventions” will bring a sharp break with past practice” but we note that many administrations--especially education bureaucrats--still tend to look for ways to do the same old things (i.e., lectures) with new technologies. Former college president Steve Eskow suggested, rather than the image of the existing university, "for mass education around the world," education planners might better consider starting with "the metaphor of the library" where books have provided self-education for millions of learners who could not attend a `class.' There can be millions of learners working with online materials and they could be supported, he says, by 'librarians' to form groups for conversation, mutual learning and support. Automated tutors could be supplemented with online tutors, available for a fee..
Former University President Duderstadt (2000) said that it is the collective responsibility of scholars, intellectuals, and leaders to develop a strategic framework capable of understanding and shaping the impact that extraordinary technologies will have on higher education institutions. We may need, he says, “to reconstruct the paradigm of the university…even to re-invent it.” Did he groan as he suggested that perhaps now just as we have HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organizations) there also may have to be EMO’s (Education Maintenance Organizations) that would contract to supply whatever education is needed across a lifetime? Perhaps it would broker educational services; if it is not too late, if new styles of university can rise to meet the challenges. The terms `market' and `customer' (why not just `learner') do not seem appropriate for education. Why not invent new terms, as medical researchers do, for efforts to create a different program for each unique learner for all age levels?
As the previous chapter listed some hurricane forces driving change, we now must confront some of the barriers to transformation of higher education. One, for example, is the resistance of present staff, of politicians and financial supporters and of parents and alumni who have powerful vested interests in the current systems. In using transformational technologies to cope with the social hurricanes, present administrators and staff often do not understand new possibilities, and are frustrated by the technology glut, the inadequate performance of many existing technologies, the lack of agreed-upon standards, the limitations of government laws and regulations, security issues, the cost in money and uncertainty in a time of declining budget resources from taxes,, and inadequate information on the possibilities of technologies that are going to enable and demand changes in the next few decades. One can find continuing discussion of such problems in online exchanges and the archives of conferences, such as DEOS from Pennsylvania State University, and on commercial sites such as <www.futureu.com>
A principle barrier, and illustration of what Hughes said, may be seen in current efforts to create administrative and institutional structures for `virtual space’ that, as in the historic case of Daimler, also seek to put new engines on the wagon-like platforms inherited from the past. In any case we value the great tradition and must find ways to guard its values. (Levine 1993)
1.2.1 MAPS AND ARCHITECTURES
No adequate models for a global learning system--and research system--yet exist, yet some may be worth examining for new ideas. Levine (2000), president of Teacher’s College at Columbia University, suggested that “education providers will become even more numerous and more diverse.” Also, he then foresaw “ “new brand names and a new hierarchy of quality” in three future types of universities: (a) the traditional residential institutions, (b) the new usually commercial virtual universities, and (c ) the combinations of the two, those universities that combine online and resident education. As we move towards a global learning system, however, the more fundamental shift may be in learning style and method as education becomes more lifelong and individualized (3.3) as “students come from diverse backgrounds and have a widening variety of educational needs. They will, Levine said, be able to choose from “a multitude of knowledge providers for the form of instruction and courses most consistent with how he or she learns.” The shift from `teaching’ to `learning’ will end the assembly line process in which requirements push learners through the same sequence of courses. New learning models as well as new institutional models will be needed.
Human society increasingly needs for all learners--including teachers—to keep learning, growing, and changing. Presumably academia keeps growing, changing. So we can assume that colleges and universities will continue to be the center of a `global learning system can gradually evolve into what they should become.) Theoretically it is the faculty that accomplishes change in universities, but faculties too have been resistant; for example, to proposals for more democracy, if it means that students are to be equal partners in learning and change. Many shudder at the possibility that faculty are going to lose some status and control as learners take charge of their own education, essentially teaching themselves, many of them at a distance. (3.6) In many other areas of society, hierarchical military type top-down governance is sometimes being radically changed. Does education tradition require that its institutions be static, or could some possibly—in a networking information age—operate on a bottom-up administrative model, perhaps even something like consumer cooperatives? (Turnbull 2001.)
Some possible maps and architectures for lifelong education in virtual space and cyberspace are being proposed--unfortunately most focusing on technology used to adapt existing procedures rather than transformational ones.
Hughes (2001) saw a gap between the technologists and traditional academia. Many technologists focus first on developing the global technology system—to explore possibilities and see where they may lead; technology that could serve diverse kinds of needs and institutions in varied and flexible ways. However, others have suggested that much use of information technology is motivated by fear--for example of competition and change--rather than by vision. (See 3.4.1) Some of that fear may rightly result from the greed, favoritism, careless administration and graft in present higher education systems that is documented by former Oklahoma State University president, John R. Campbell (2000), in his book Dry Rot in the Ivory Tower. We do not yet know what is going to be possible with tens of thousands of interconnected supercomputers. Perhaps such problems can automatically be revealed by a system of `checks-and-balances' where software embedded criteria sense possible, security on the net, graft, cheating and other administrative problems.
Those not on the technical side of the divide, the educators who look favorably on the idea of a radically transformed lifelong system, already are coming to terms with the idea of individualized education. For example, Peter Senge of M.I.T.--who has written on the art and practice of learning organizations--asks for personal mastery, mental models, team teaching and a shared vision, has emphasized the need for systems thinking as another step towards the creation of learning organizations. Today learners live in a world that is very different than it was a decade ago, and it is likely to have already re-created itself many times. How often will higher education have also re-created itself? McCain and Jukes (2001) pointed out that “education is increasingly disconnected from the rest of the world.” A transformation system’s architecture might exist in virtual space above the existing educational institutions and their slow moving structures but, alas, with the same old types of administration and institutions? (See 1.2.3, 1.2.4) There are and will be many other scenarios or blueprints, but educators first need a global vision as a basis for deciding what to do together in virtual/cyberspace. And are any of the administrative structures listed below adequate for a global-scale system to accomplish a great vision?
What kind of global system and administration can coordinate and regulate electronic courses and electronic teaching packages offered online via cable, wireless and satellite or digital radio. In any case, forthcoming interactive, participatory distance learning on thousand-channel, interactive Digital TV with streaming video is one of the places where global administrative thinking might change. Who is to set standards and enforce them. especially when nations and universities and other educational institutions disagree? What technology is to be used and how can it be shared? Who is to arbitrate and decide on such matters as degrees, skills certification and exchange of course credits? Also, what kind of administration and funding can a worldwide virtual lifelong education system have if it involves many governments, private colleges, for-profit institutions and the teaching programs of business corporations? Some even dream that all universities will fuse ultimately into one. Other already proposed governance models include: (1) The creation of new organizations—virtual worldwide structures—especially to administer international electronic education; (2) for-profit corporations administering courses in cooperation with educational agencies; (3) Some propose the creation of some sort of UN or international agency to set standards and provide administration for a global education system. In passing, we should look at several deliberate efforts to create a global administrative system. As such efforts are examined, it is tempting to conclude that many if not all of these alternatives will remain part of the “kludge” of networks that may govern global electronic education for decades. Unfortunately, governance may be determined by the control of funding rather than on the basis of principle and adequate goals for global learning (1.2.8) Also, which of the following rather traditional administrative models are really transformational? Would they help create an enlarged global academia or learning communities that are more than an online class?
1.2.3 GOVERNANCE IN THE NTU: ONE EARLY MODEL. <http://www.ntu.edu/index.asp>.
The idea of a totally new global-scale institution--with its own board and staff-- that would draw on the resources of many universities was the National Technological University, founded in 1986. By 1991 it was a consortium of forty major schools of engineering with the active collaboration of the business corporations that employed them. It was a private, nonprofit corporation. its governing Board of Trustees consisting primarily of industrial executives. Its headquarters staff managed a complex network, both technological and human, that linked forty universities with more than 325 sites It was highly commended as an example of cooperation among government, university, and business corporations, which suggests to many a pattern that the governance of the emerging international university might take. The curriculum, with courses he curriculum was developed by the faculty representatives in each discipline. Much of the work of faculties and committees was done online. NTU preferred to have its success judged by “the magnitude of its services to students.” Generally NTU could select the best courses from major engineering schools to offer them where needed by engineers. When offered to developing countries many found these advanced courses too difficult for their students. Perhaps it—and the COL below---suggests components for a virtual global administrative structure. NTU was in 2002 purchased by Sylvan Learning Systems..
1.2.4 COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING <http://www.col.org/colweb/site>.
The idea of bringing national governments together in a global administrative system can be seen in the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), a cooperative administrative arrangement between—and a sharing of courses among—open university and other distance education programs in countries that belong to what once as called the British Commonwealth. It's goal was to “foster a network—not an institution—to share expertise” (Lundin 1988). It has worked to make it possible for “any learner, anywhere in the Commonwealth [to take] any distance teaching programme from any bona fide college or university in the Commonwealth.” This implied going “beyond the narrow concept of physical movement of students from one country to another into a much wider concept of the mobility of ideas, knowledge, and learning...to free knowledge from national boundaries and ideological confines and to share it through an ambitious exchange of educational resources” (Lundin 1988). The global expansion of communication channels can make this possible. These countries began to create something like a `consumer cooperative' to coordinate existing resources, to strengthen them, and to expand international electronic education through COL auspices. The COL has not limited its programs to higher education only, but it has drawn on the resources and experience of open learning institutions such as the Open Polytechnic (New Zealand) and the Open Learning Agency (Canada). Focusing as it has on human resource development, especially for `Third World nations,' the COL has provided more than a `second chance,’ but often the only chance for many students to obtain high-quality education and training. It has built upon extensive experience., such as that of those in the South Pacific and West Indies, “which employ satellite-derived telecommunication systems as a fundamental part of their programmes across...oceans.” (Commonwealth of Learning 1990). For example, the University of the South Pacific early provided, via satellite, distance students with quality courses at a third or less of the cost to on-campus students and the success rate is high .On resources: <http://www.colfinder.org/public/index.jsp>.
The Commonwealth of Learning’s 2001-2004 three year
plan foresaw new technologies and pedagogies offering solutions for closing the
gap between the demand for, and supply of education, thus accomplishing global
objectives in literacy, basic education, technical/vocational education, teacher
training, and continuing and professional education. The plan outlined four
roles for COL: to be a catalyst for collaboration, a resource for training (in
distance learning), a capacity builder (for human development), and an
information/knowledge provider. The `Commonwealth Educational Media Centre’ for
Asia, located in New Delhi, sought `to ensure greater responsiveness to the
needs of the Asian region.' Unfortunately the COL is limited to countries
within the commonwealth and has so far lacked the support and funding to
undertake a massive effort, for example, in Africa. Perhaps, though, It
can be seen as a step in planning for transformational lifelong global
the COL has so far not been interested in enlarging to include all of the world.
Another effort to enlist national governments, in order to bring some institutional structure into emerging worldwide electronic education was the `University of the World' (UW) project, incorporated in California. It was an effort to bring together—in every nation—academia, government and business for planning, in ways that might make it possible to overcome some of the intransigent forces of government and education bureaucracies. The UW began with an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State that was sent to most countries, inviting all governments to establish national councils of the UW that would bring together and give representation to all of the governmental and private agencies in that nation that were or should be involved in an international electronic exchange of educational resources. That seemed a logical approach to global governance and and for planning. The UW was to be a `global umbrella,’ covering the academic activities of the nations, a unique international coalition of scholars and students, and nongovernmental, nonpolitical, nonprofit. It was “designed to employ a total systems approach to facilitate, integrate, and implement a range of educational and research activities using electronic media in various countries” (UW 1991). It proposed an electronic style of administration: “…electronic network connections (would) link University of the World offices in each country with every other national office and the Central Office.” It was hoped that this network would function like a central nervous system to unite and integrate all the components of the UW globally. It planned to “involve various media including telephone, fax, telex, cable, compact disk, videodisc, satellite, computer network, radio, packet radio, video and ultimately two-way interactive video.” The UW did not succeed, perhaps because it was premature, perhaps also because it was a top-down approach, beginning with governments and official educational agencies of the participating nations. Major governments did not join in providing funding.
GLOSAS/GLOBAL UNIVERSITY SYSTEM PROJECT
Where the University of the World project began `top down,’ a `bottom up’ effort was initiated by Takeshi Utsumi who began with demonstrations of the potential of technology to enlist people who might share his large vision of a global education system to support universal peace. Its strength has been its continuing to experiment with and evaluate the latest technologies That effort led to an experimental Global University System approach, initiated in August/September 1999 at a conference at the University of Tampere, Finland, that was funded by major international organizations. This project proposed a low cost wide bandwidth system, and new instruments for collaboration. After the conference, designated universities began to take initiative in assigned geographical regions: <http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve_mc/asia-pacific>.
Where the UW began by soliciting funds and support from governments, and the NTU began with its major support from business corporations, the Global University System (GUS) project of the Systems Analysis and Simulation (GLOSAS) organization has sought to stimulate international electronic collaboration and development by beginning first with demonstrations to show what emerging technologies increasingly make possible. As educators on five continents became involved in these demonstrations of electronic exchange from continent to continent, they saw what could be accomplished and many began to cooperate and participate (Utsumi 1989). GLOSAS facilitated experimentation with technologies that might be used to offer courses online. GLOSAS has helped with the negotiations and demonstrations necessary to establish some “sister” relationships among schools in different countries. GLOSAS “global classroom” demonstrations, such as the one at the Fifteenth World Conference of the International Council for Distance Education in Venezuela and many other such conferences, have helped GLOSAS discover technological, regulatory, economic, and marketing impediments that need to be removed to enable the emergence of a worldwide electronic learning system. GLOSAS has also devoted major research efforts to finding ways to cut costs so that electronic course exchange can be possible for countries with limited financial resources. <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Manaus%20Workshop/Tinker%20Foundation/Application%20Form/Tinker_Proposal_Web/Full_Proposal.html>
In the 1970s GLOSAS began the political work, which it still continues, of getting government regulations changed and legal barriers removed. This made it possible for U.S. data communication networks to be extended overseas, first to Japan. This step was essential to make possible course exchange and free electronic access-through computer conferencing, television, and so forth—from one country to another for educational purposes. The work of GLOSAS therefore rests on a solid foundation of appreciation for such accomplishments. The easing of restrictions, as the European Community followed suit, has made possible a wide variety of electronic educational experiments and programs (Utsumi, Rossman, and Rosen 1989.)
GLOSAS and its Global University System (GUS) project planners in the 2000's assumed that—for the present at least—governance and organizational plans should be kept open and fluid so that all kinds of networking can continue, perhaps for a long time, until an authentic style of networking for global university governance can emerge. Its online constituency has continued to grow, its programs and plans have started to interest major donors, and a global board of prominent people from many countries was giving leadership to the creating of a global infrastructure. It has sought to increase understanding of different cultural conditions, values and needs; to emphasize sustainability and equality; to link enthusiasts with decision-makers and funding sources; to identify existing pilot projects; and to discuss international standards for courses and accreditation. Its vision and goals are transformational but it still lacks much official support from education institutions. Time will tell what its continuing influence will be, what will bubble up from a confusing global sea. (See Utsumi 2003. )
In 2004 GLOSAS developed a `textbook,' available on
line, in print and on CD in which major figures in global education,
UNESCO the United Nations, etc., discuss and support the GLOSAS Global University idea.
See the draft texts involving international education leaders, at: <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/UNESCO_Chair_Book/Bk_outline-D13.html>
Rather than seeking to operate individually" since there are many legal and red tape barriers to overcome, associations of Universities, of Open Universities, of Distance Education programs begin to come together, but creating some transformational administrative structure is not likely to happen until there is a global will and a plan and funding. So this paragraph awaits developments and information. In many parts of the world, various associations of universities and agencies were in the last decade of the 20th century engaged in projects and planning; for example, the World Association for Distance Education (WADE), the Latin American Network for the Development of Distance Education (REDLAED); the Regional Program on Educational Development (PREDE) of the Organization of American States; the Centro Regional para la Educacion Superior en America Latina el Caribe (CRESALC) of UNESCO; the World Association for the Use of Satellites in Education (WAUSE); the Community of Mediterranean Universities; the presidents of open universities, the Foundation for International Tele-education (an effort to create a global clearinghouse); the International Federation for Computer-Based Education in Banking; the American Symposium on Research in Distance Education; and the InterAmerican Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) in Canada, involving approximately 325 schools. This list, which could be extended for many pages, suggests the wide variety of types of associations, but as yet which have really transformational plans or proposals for an effective global association of existing educational institutions that might initiate transformation? <www.aacu-edu.org>
The African Virtual University's ongoing study of electronic connections between African higher education and research universities can be found at: <http://www.atics.info/html/about/about.html>. Links on various joint efforts can be found at <http://www.atics.info/html/about/links.htm> A conference in Ethiopia on global university connections in Africa, with explantions elsewhere: <http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/Global_University/Global%20University%20System/2004-10,%20Addis%20Ababa,%20Ethiopia/Estab-GUS-Eth-v8.htm>. Papers presented at a conference in Ethiopia on using ICT in Africa: <http://www.ictes2004-gstit.edu.et/Sessionsdaythree.html#ic>. On the British Open University open content see: <http://oci.open.ac.uk/>.
The trends in existing academic distance education
programs offered from country to country
suggest that there is going to be more and more commercialization, and perhaps
less `business-indpendent research.' So will business corporations provide
models for a global lifelong learning system? The term `alternative technology'
is frequently used for simple, low-cost projects that are affordable for
developing countries. Can there similarly be “low-cost alternative
administration” in a global networking system? The experience of multinational
corporations may also strongly influence how administrative issues will be
solved, since electronic higher education involves universities in a system of
world trade. International corporations must function in the midst of the same
complexities that face the worldwide university such as:
Business corporations already are major components of the international academia. Electronic training programs for employees-- such as IBM's in-company satellite education system--have constituted one of the largest segments of higher education, not counting the corporation purchase of instruction from universities. Many international corporations have set up their own `universities.’ Private corporation education networks were already in the last century being operated by such companies as General Motors, J. C. Penney, Ford, Wal-Mart, and Federal Express (see Pelton 1900). It is even truer now, as was already reported by Brock (1990), that many such corporate systems are far ahead of public education institutions in technological sophistication of the instruction and in its quantity.. One technician--at a meeting of delegates from China, Russia, and many developing nations-- asked: “If we can exchange significant courses online, through computer networks and teleconferencing, why can’t all the meetings and administrative work be done that way also? How long must we wait before important education conferences can be made available to all who wish, via the Internet?” And where is the experimentation with the administration of consortia, etc., online? Large numbers of people in many countries could participate in committee planning and coordination and in global lifelong education business and administrative meetings, and at affordable costs. Then perhaps projects and responsibilities could be divided among many educational institutions and agencies. At a meeting of the Foundation for Instructional Teleeducation, it was suggested that international agencies might each assume one area of work, much as each participating university in every country might provide a course or two. In the United States some of the most promising future possibilities for providing education for everyone have been and are being developed by PBS, the public television system.
On a World Bank initiative see: <http://www.learningtimes.net/ifc.shtml>. For a major 2006 UNESCO initiative see <http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=47268&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html>.
Cost savings? There must be funding for the planning, for the research, for the bringing together of many technologies and learning materials. Foreman (2004) has reported the frustration of advocates of video games in learning by the "prohibitive costs of available technologies' and suggests that there may have to be a multibillion dollar collaboration of "government, industry and academe." It will take time to develop technologies and programs that can be standardized for the mass production that can provide what is needed at low cost. Harley et al (2004) have reported cost savings by changing the use of existing funds (3.4).
In the long run, some are suggesting, the cost of long distance wireless connections to a global electronic education system need be--in the long run--no more expensive than a local call. With Wi-Fi and beyond (Jardin 2003) it may really be affordable to the poor. Such forthcoming technologies can probably make very low charges for education possible, but whatever administrative structures emerge--such as an international consortium structure or a `world government of educational institutions,’ would require major funding that so far has not been found. Money for a global education system must be seen in the context of funding problems of existing higher education institutions. Also, however, new alternatives must be explored. On funding possibilities see Verry (2001) on economics of lifelong funding and Haddad (2002). Twigg (2003) pointed out that new technologies are not resulting in large savings "and technology becomes part of the problem of rising costs rather than the solution" because educational institutions have `bolted' new technologies onto existing programs" without improving the quality of student learning or without reducing the costs of instruction.
A Global Endowment? Some propose a major endowment effort, an international campaign to raise billions of dollars from corporations, government agencies, wills, private gifts, and foundations. The emerging invisible electronic lifelong learning system has no wealthy alumni, yet donors often endow schools they did not attend and some wealthy donors might be intrigued by the idea of an endowment to aid in the provision of essential learning asnd health care to developing nations.
A UN Funding Agency? Some continue to hope that the governments of the world will fund the administrative structures for global electronic learning as a major UN agency, perhaps related to UNESCO, with a budget from all nations that is at least adequate for a coordinating umbrella, providing for essential meetings and publications, especially catalogs and directories. The Commonwealth of Learning, officially involving many governments, may be a step in that direction. Perhaps funds could come from a `green tax’ on pollution? In 2004 the president of France proposed `a world tax' for essential projects in the developing world.
A Cooperative Funding Agency? It has been suggested that something like a “Global Community Chest” might seek to coordinate fund-raising by developing a plan to share jointly raised funds on an agreed percentage basis. Funds might even be secured through an international telethon that would seek to interconnect as many of the world s higher education institutions as possible. TV that inspires millions to contribute for hungry children might also inspire millions to contribute funds to aid educationally underprivileged people.
Tuition Sharing? When students are able to pay tuition for their on-line courses a percentage might go to the worldwide system that would be revenue-generating and self-sustaining. A formula, as in Thailand, has been devised for tuition fees from students to “ensure that the program will pay for itself” and not be dependent on government funding. Extra funds would be needed for scholarships.
Vouchers to Individuals. Some American states have been experimenting with vouchers to give tuition money directly to students so they can choose--and thereby support--the school or university they choose. Many global virtual educations programs already in 2002 were funded by tuition paid by those taking courses. For those in developing countries this could be a significant kind of foreign aid. Sweden (Verry 2001) has experimented with a pilot program for `Individual Learning Accounts' and the British Labor Board has proposed a Child Trust Fund that would open a savings account for every child at birth.'
Funds—or loaned staff and services--from institutions. Most universities, even the well endowed, do not have large amounts of money that can be contributed to international budgets. Indeed, as this is written, many American universities have had to cut their information services budgets and many also are struggling to keep up mounting technology costs, significant parts of which are for international distance education. However, once overhead or “umbrella” administrative structures exist and are funded, many universities can pay for lectures and courses they need in order that learners resident on their campuses can take needed courses that otherwise would not be available. . Many colleges can share fees for on-line courses that learners are willing to pay for. Despite their limited budgets, universities can contribute lectures, courses, publicity, and some administrative and technological services. Many institutions could each assume a small share of a global program, as they have done in NTU. Many electronic learning projects can be carried out with contributed services. Furthermore, Edward Yarrish (1991) pointed out that virtual programs can ultimately bring significant savings. Compared to on-campus buildings that are expensive to build and maintain, the “electronic classroom via modem…can be used 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. He pointed out further that computers and electronics are an area of world economy where productivity significantly increases, in contrast to other higher education, which continues to increase in cost each year “with little change in the product.” Joseph Pelton (1990) early reminded us that in the United States public school electronic-based tele-education was already in the 1980's “a multi-billion dollar enterprise.”
Nelson (et al. 2002)--of the Citizen's Scholarship Foundation--proposed ways in which existing funds can be much better used, in partnership with the neediest students and if universities would better coordinate and plan the use of existing scholarship funds.
Huge Sums Needed? Funding of the global lifelong education system, however it may be emerging, cannot be separated from the budget problems of existing educational institutions. As seen in volume Two, future research may be even more expensive; and American universities have already lost much of their independence because they are dependent on hundreds of millions of research dollars that come with strings attached. Some current studies show that on-campus tuition costs will continue to increase and legislatures will probably not fund conventional universities as well as in the past at a time when very expensive technology is going to be more and more essential.. Parents and others who are financially pressed will urge legislatures to provide more grants and loans to individuals to use where they wish. Learners therefore will seek affordable alternatives. Enrolment gains, and thus tuition income, may therefore take place in online and community colleges. Universities are therefore unlikely to be able to provide substantial support for a global system, except on a course- by- course basis.
Funds From Cooperating Business Partners. At the turn of the 21st century, although often not expected, a major source of funding for lifelong education programs has come from corporations that pay tuition for employees. Perhaps some of them, with a proper plan and negotiations, would contribute free satellite and communications time, especially during hours of the day and week when their facilities are underused. Consortia of schools can better negotiate for special rates from common carriers. Hardware and software equipment could be obtained at much better prices if jointly purchased for mass use Whoever administers international education budgets with tight fiscal restraints will find it hard to set priorities. Should funds first of all go to the developing world? What share of budget should be allocated to students and faculty themselves to spend on “appropriate technology” such as computers? Should such a consortium spend large sums putting its own satellite into orbit and developing an infrastructure system or should it rent (and in the Third World, borrow) infrastructure developed by business and for other purposes? At the turn of the century is appears that there can be significant `piggy-backing” on health care initiatives.
There is debate on whether money can be attained by economies, such as offering certain major courses to a million learners. In any case, funds are wasted if there is no agreement on the content of courses. Education money is mismanaged and not well used when there are “no clearly stated objectives, no philosophy for managing a multi-billion dollar business.. . no accountability for academic achievement;...no standard cost-accounting system.” (Perot 1989).
A Global Service Trust Fund proposal was discussed at a meeting held at the Pan American Health Organization headquarters in December, 2000, because technology for health as well as education is part of the proposal. A revised version of the plan--which is still under development--was also presented at the founding conference of the Clarke Institute for Tele-communications and information at INTELSAT headquarters. It is “an emulation of the Universal Service Fund of the US Federal Communications Commission.” Its advocates hope that the G7 countries will provide billions of dollars in coming years to support global wide trans-cultural initiatives, “with a priority given to academic freedom, to support transnational collaboration on research and “to make possible full use of the highest quality of global electronic distance learning and tele-health/tele-medicine for all global citizens.” See Utsumi 2003).
Grossman (2001) reported on the proposal for a multibillion dollar Digital Opportunity Investment Trust that would serve as a venture capital fund, an initiative like the previous GI Bill and Morrill Land Grant Act in the USA. It is likely, however, that significant funding for a global operation can only be secured with the development first of an exciting global plan that moves beyond the usual administrative and institutional preservation questions. Also, where is the motivation and support for transformation of higher education? Reporting on discussions about some sort of global fund at the 2003 World Summit in Geneva, Cerf (2004) wondered how such a fund might be administered.
In a time when foundations are cutting back their financial support of colleges and universities, and when many government are having to reduce funs, Mary Marcy (2003)--reporting that the financial crunch may be just beginning-- asks what can be done. She calls for "a comprehensive vision beyond the objectives of individual colleges" and for new ideas that are more than `pockets of innovation.' Funding of education for all, including the developing world, must involve much standardization for economy in technologies. For example, Norris et al. (2003) propose "low-cost knowledge management tools for all persons" and "low-cost "approaches to knowledge object creation, re-purposing and reuse." Put simply, they say, "the cost of digital content/context needs" must "drop by an order of magnitude" and it is difficult even to discuss how and what, until there is a global learning planning system." Note Wikiversity: <http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Main_Page>.
In later sections we will say more about a global learning strategy, which takes into account the interrelationships of education with humanity’s crises and serious problems. (2.1.1) Also we must ask: what are the crises and sub-problems within education itself? Where can they best be addressed in the context of the need for a global research design, with long-range transformational goals and including action research for getting difficult things accomplished? What tools can be used, such as global-scale modeling? Can we here contribute to what can be done with links to data bases (on what is known and what needs to be done) and to organizations, peer-reviewed publications and researchers in each sub-area, to co-laboratories, action/ information networks and `Observatories’ to record and publicize progress?
No one yet knows, of course, what the institutional/organizational shape of global virtual education will be and it is premature to recommend administrative models. Ralph Killman (1989), director of the program in corporate culture at the University of Pittsburgh, suggested that “the 21st century will be full of organizational surprises.” The traditional forms of organization, such as army or bureaucratic-type hierarchical authority applied to universities, are no longer working very well. One result is an inability to keep up with changes and a failure “to develop a global perspective.” What we see, Killman said, is the emergence of “the network” as the twenty-first century form of institution. No existing educational institutions and no corporation or government agency is alone likely to dominate and determine the future shape of international virtual education. Many assume that its style of organization and governance will emerge gradually. Harlan Cleveland (1991), however, argued that an international capacity to act requires “a strong but collective executive, able to perform policy analysis, negotiate consensus on norms and standards, and blow the whistle when policies aren’t carried out.”
In addition to virtual governance structures there are the “shadow governments” of the academic disciplines. It is likely that they will continue horizontal, increasingly powerful through global organizational relationships on the Internet; for example as instruments of peer review of global curricula. Yet, around 1980 “the world changed…as a result of the computer and telecommunication revolutions and the explosion of information.” (Duderstadt 2000.) The old style of organizing in divisions, in self-contained departments, and specializations was highly successful at one stage of development but is no longer functional. Education now exists in a global context as “the world has become more accessible and change has become more rapid.” Educational institutions, as well as business corporations, have reshuffled and improvised. There have been experiments with joint projects and consortia. Similarly, industry has sought to build bridges to research institutions, to government agencies in their own and other countries, and to community groups.
We might illustrate, for example, by noting the pressure to separate Archeology into a more independent discipline versus pressure to merge engineering and science, or to point to the merging of math and biology. Few would question the need for Archeology--as a profession and important field of study--to be equal with and involved in transdisciplinary research with other such disciplines in academia. However, as we look at the emerging information technology age and its possibilities, is not a holistic approach to the past both possible and needed? To detailed satellite photos of every area of the planet, there can be added layers of data from history, ethnology, biological anthropology, sociology, geology, linguistics, art, classics, and other and new disciplines yet to come, to provide a much more comprehensive picture of the past and what present-day society can learn from it in both practical and academic areas.
Meanwhile, electronic overseas learning is still too often seen as belonging to extension and continuing education divisions, is not yet a priority for many central academic structures. So its governance may be moving into the hands of forces outside the academic centers of higher learning. Instead of a global system directed by one “hub” administration, there probably will continue to be a network of “hubs,” some in government, some in business, some in education that is already undergoing a transformation. It is not the technology that transforms education; rather, the technology—and perhaps the shock effect of its potential— opens the minds of educators and many others to various new possibilities, ending some of the lethargy and resistance that have preserved so much obsolescence in education.
Planning groups have asked how the hub/network style might apply to a system for course exchange in which people are electronically connected. At the hub, Killman said, “the traditional division of labor will be replaced by a contemporary division of knowledge organized according to new categories.” The hub will be responsible for organizing resources, setting goals, establishing priorities and programs, and keeping the network together. What style of global lifelong education governance can do that? Will structures for global administration depend on the shape global higher education takes? In Inayatullah (2000) several possible types of higher education were foreseen: the megauniversity; the virtual university with transferable credits in a global web much like airline cooperation (1.07); the niche university (1.06); lifelong learning with face-to-face workshops; and the elite brand name university for those who can afford it.
Can we anticipate ways in which new technologies--such as simulation of possibilities--can help global learning institutions cope with and even make constructive response to the `social hurricanes’ now coming forward to transform them? The next chapter proposes human/machine cooperation as the way to use the next wave of technology in the transformation of higher education. Indeed of all education as humanity out of desperation undertakes the task of educating everyone in the world. (Cole 1994). If there is little satisfaction with global administration in ways this chapter has proposed, then we should look at other possibilities. The President Emeritus of MIT (Vest 2006) foresees a `global meta-university' as he discussed the experient in putting all of MIT's courses online, free to anyone on the planet. as part of an emerging open software movement/" <http://ocw.mit.edu>.Vest describes it as a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic community constructed framework of open materials and platforms on on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced An important phase of the meta-university is a massive online library and a next phase will be online science labs. They are possible now that a high percentage of science research uses computers that can be interconnected..
The Future of Higher (Lifelong) Education: For All Worldwide: A Holistic View