Higher Education: What Need to Be Changed

History of higher education underwent major shifts influenced by many factors, such as industrial growth, technological innovation, advances in learning theories and pedagogical strategies, globalization, and sociocultural and political factors. There have been great accomplishments that need to be acknowledged. Generally speaking, I can refer to the significant efforts in providing opportunities, curricular and non-curricular, for individuals to fulfill their potentials, to be a better citizen of the world.

Is this enough? Of course not. So what need to be changed? Or better to ask: what are the issues? To answer this question, which is very general, one may wonder about the context. Higher education in general? Which part of that? Which location in the world? And many more questions. Let’s for now imagine that our focus is on higher education as relatively standard practices which is common in western world. Although still is general, it helps me to explore potential issues better, meanwhile it is important to think about other places across the globe.

Perhaps it is really hard to focus on one or two issues as areas which need change and improvement, especially since there are interconnections between many factors that play role in higher education. I can think of several major issues, such as access to higher education, quality of education, assessment of learning, null curriculum, connection to the job market, academic freedom, admission policy, instructional strategies, and so on.

Without calling one single issue, let’s imagine an individual, a young lady for example, who is applying for different institutions. What happened in her life, in family, elementary, middle, and high school education, and also in society as a whole can influence her current standing. Now, let’s imagine that we are interested to explore her journey from now on, though we appreciate the strong ties. Economics play a significant role here, that is the place which one may consider for taking into account regarding areas which needs change. Institution probably looking at her performance on standardized exams, as one of the major factor, another area which has been a place for debate. Let’s imagine that she has a privilege (in some extent this phrase might have negative impression, depending on interpretation) to get to the school A. From point 1, acceptance, to point 2, graduation, she may experience many positive, encouraging, and negative, discouraging, experiences. What is most important is that if she could actually apply the time in an effective way to help herself to fulfill her potential. Here, friends, faculty, staff, and social environment as a whole play significant role. While there are many individuals self-motivated and strong in confronting a variety of issues, for many reasons this might not be a case for all. Beyond that to be a member of the world, to be engaged in society, she needs to work on personal and professional development. Again while for some individuals this is pretty natural and straightforward for others might not be the case. Furthermore to be more clear, looking at what happens around us, one may guess that she can be a potential leader, can be a potential decision maker, can be a …, whose attitudes and decisions may influence one, several, or many…

I want to see all care about all… That brings first the notion of political decisions, within an institution and beyond. That brings the notion of inclusion…That bring the notion of practicing happiness together… That brings the notion of ethics and moral life… That brings taking into account responsibilities and not only rights… That brings the notion of courage and empowerment… That brings the notion of better world…