Issues for discussion

 

Questions and Issues for Discussion


Session 1: Where have we got to in attaining and sustaining mass higher education?


1. How is the world of higher education developing and changing in response to evolving demand for higher education in different countries and regions?


2. How are economic development, regional trends and globalisation patterns reshaping the higher education sector?


3. How important is mass higher education as an underpinning for economic competitiveness and social progress?


4. What roles do broader access and equity need to play in the shift towards mass higher education? 


Session 2: What can higher education contribute to developing skills for the knowledge economy?

 

1. How does mass higher education fit into national, regional and local strategies for skills, economic   development and social progress?

 

2. How can mass higher education develop the range of skills that are relevant to the labour market and underpin the knowledge economy?

 

3. Which skills are most relevant for the knowledge economy and where should the balance lie in higher education between discipline-specific and generic skills?

 

4. What role could mass higher education play in developing a range of effective alternative routes to prepare young people for the labour market?  

 

5. Do higher education institutions need to develop new ways of working with employers and to foster entrepreneurship?


Session 3: How can higher education reconcile its different missions and roles? 


1. How does mass higher education contribute to broader economic and social objectives?

 

2. Should institutions specialise in research, teaching, or preserving knowledge or is it important for most or all institutions to connect teaching with research and preserving knowledge?

 

3. What do students want from higher education and how can, or should, their preferences be taken into account?

 

4. How can the development of elite, world-class universities be balanced with providing broad-based mass higher education? 
 

Session 4: How can higher education maintain and improve quality?


1. How can larger intakes and greater diversity in the student body be reconciled with maintaining challenging courses and academic standards?  

 

2. How can countries and institutions maintain and enhance quality when constrained by limited resources? 

 

3. How can quality assurance, accreditation, financing or other mechanisms verify quality and drive improvement while respecting institutional autonomy?

   

4. What institutional strategies can be most effective to enhance quality, improve the student learning experience and keep students engaged?


Session 5: What does the future hold for mass higher education?


1. What will shifting regional economic and geo-political balances and internationalisation mean for mass higher education?

 

2. What role is technology (including different on-line learning options) likely to play in extending the reach of higher education and increasing access to learning?

 

3. Are public budget pressures and resource constraints likely to make mass higher education unsustainable?


Session 6: How can higher education deal with the challenges it faces?


1. How can higher education institutions most effectively manage their longer-term strategic direction and development within evolving government priorities and shifting public expectations for mass higher education?

 

2. How can – or should – governments steer higher education and balance that with institutional autonomy?

 

3. Are new financing models needed to sustain mass higher education and, if so, how can these be developed and implemented?

 

4. How can higher education institutions keep their costs under control and become more flexible?


5. What role does internationalisation play in addressing these challenges?