New Media and the Transformation of Higher Education

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Transcript New Media and the Transformation of Higher Education

New Media and the Transformation
of Higher Education
Presentation to the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries,
Bath Spa University, Bath, UK
14 October 2013
Terry Flew
Professor of Media and Communication
Creative Industries Faculty
Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane, Australia
‘The Deathstar Scenario’
‘Higher education is in deep
crisis … Already we are
beginning to deliver more
lectures and classes offcampus via satellite or twoway video at a fraction of the
cost. The college won’t survive
as a residential institution’.
Peter Drucker, 1997
‘On the Web for free you’ll be
able to find the best lectures
in the world … College, except
for the parties, needs to be
less place-based’.
Bill Gates, 2010
Drivers of Change in Higher Education
1. Globalisation
2. Knowledge economy
3. Dispersal of knowledge
through the Internet
4. Worldwide demand for
higher education
5. Government policies to
manage costs/growth/
6. Changing student
7. Relationship to industry
8. Cost pressures
9. Rise of new for-profit
10. Global ranking systems
Major source/destination countries for
higher education students (‘000)
Source countries (‘000)
Destination countries (‘000)
China (568)
United States (684)
India (211)
United Kingdom (390)
South Korea (127)
Australia (271)
Germany (105)
France (259)
Turkey (72)
Germany (200)
France (68)
Japan (141)
Russia (62)
Russia (129)
Malaysia (58)
Canada (95)
United States (55)
China (71)
Morocco (54)
South Africa (60)
Source: UNESCO 2012.
Aspects of
globalisation/’disembedding’ of HEIs
1. Growing reliance on international enrolments
as sources of institutional funding
2. Cross-border teaching programs
3. International sources of research
funding/collaborative research projects
4. Cross-border accreditation of programs (e.g.
Paradoxical implications of the
Internet for knowledge
1. Abundance
2. Linking
3. Permission-free publication
4. Publicness of knowledge creation
5. Visible contestation over knowledge claims
‘The old Enlightenment ideal [of knowledge] was
far more plausible when what we saw of the
nattering world came through filters that hid the
vast, disagreeable bulk of disagreement’ (David
Weinberger, Too Big to Know, 2012, p. 174).
Elite to Mass to Universal Higher Education
Attitudes to access
Elite (0-15%)
Mass (15-50%)
Universal (50% +)
Privilege of birth or talent
Right for those with appropriate qualifications
Obligation for middle and upper classes
higher Shaping mind and character; preparation for Transmission of skills; preparation for wider Adaptation of ‘whole population’ to rapid
elite roles
range of professional and technical roles
social and technological change
Curriculum and forms of Highly structured; based around academic More modular, flexible and semi-structured Boundaries and sequences break down, as do
conceptions of knowledge
Student ‘career’
sequence of courses
as More deferred entry and mature-age entry
uninterrupted period of life
Institutional characteristics
distinctions between types of ‘learning’
Softening of boundaries between formal
education, work and other aspects of life
common More diverse standards; mixed residential or Great diversity with no common standards;
standards; many students on-campus; campus commuting; campus more integrated into the many students rarely or never on campus;
separate from wider society
boundaries weak or non-existent
Locus of power, decision- Collegiate; elite group with shared values and Rise of the full-time ‘academic-administrator’; Full-time academic managers drawing on
assumptions; ‘academic amateurs’ selected as growth in professional bureaucracies
administrators by peers
appointments from ‘outside academe’
Access and selection
school Meritocratic based on multiple criteria; equity Open access with targeted support for underprovisions for under-represented groups
represented groups
Positional Goods and Status
• ‘Elite universities are partly beyond
economics. They need resources, but
resources are the means to more fundamental
ends: the education of future leaders,
research, institutional social position and
historical power’.
Simon Marginson, ‘The Impossibility of Capitalist
Markets in Higher Education’, Journal of
Education Policy 28(3), 2013, p. 364.
‘Public good’ aspects of universities,
and their paradoxes
‘Public Good’ aspect
‘Private good’ element
Support for the education of individuals
boosts overall stock of human capital
through a more knowledgeable
Individuals capture the benefits of higher
education in higher average incomes over
Research leads to the generation of new
knowledge and breakthrough innovations
that would be under-supplied in absence
of public support
Success in attracting research funding
boosts the status and research capacity of
elite universities
Universities as scholarly institutions
contribute to a vibrant public sphere
Creation of status hierarchies as elite
researchers are highly sought after by
competing universities
Evolution of Open and Distance
Education (ODE)
‘Baumol’s Disease’ in higher education
• Difficulties in technology:labour substitution
• Use of student:staff ratios as a proxy for quality of
• Institutional rigidities
• Pressure to ‘buy the best’ researchers
• Increased expenditure on student support
• Mismatch between institutional incentives and
expectations of both students and other
stakeholders (e.g. governments)
William Bowen, Higher Education in the Digital Age,
Weighted global university
ranking criteria
Times Higher Education
QS Top Universities
ARWU (Shanghai Jiao Tong)
Teaching (30%)
Academic peer review (40%)
Education: Alumni winning Nobel Prizes
and Fields Medals (10%)
and Global employer review (10%)
reputation (30%)
Citations: research influence (30%)
Faculty: Staff winning Nobel Prizes and
Fields Medals (20%)
Faculty/student ratio (20%)
Highly cited researchers in 21 categories
Industry income – innovation (2.5%)
Citations per faculty (20%)
Research – papers in Nature and Science
International outlook – students, staff International faculty ratio (5%)
Papers cited in Science/Social Science
and research (7.5%)
Citation (20%)
International student ratio (5%)
Per capita academic performance (10%)
Source: Barber et. al., An Avalanche Is Coming, IPPR, 2013, p. 21.
‘Five P’s’ framework for evaluating
changes in higher education
Practical issues
Personal issues
Pedagogical issues
Policy issues
Philosophical issues
Myths of Internet-based higher
1. The Internet will kill off university campuses
– Assumption that ‘on-campus experience’ is
exclusively about access to course content
– ‘Eds and Meds’ urban development strategies
2. Online education is cheaper than face-to-face
– Considerable fixed costs involved in developing
online content
– Costs of bandwidth, revamping content, reskilling
staff etc.
Benefits and costs of online course
delivery (Lei and Gupta)
Benefits of online delivery
Costs of online delivery
Ability to reach a wider range of students
Costs of acquiring appropriate software and computer hardware
Greater flexibility in class scheduling
Need to train faculty and students on how to use new programs
Enabling low-cost access to wider range of resources
Need for upgrades, and issues of incompatible technology
Reduced costs of communicating with students
Greater flexibility in how and when courses are delivered
Challenges of ensuring all students are engaged and motivated
New modes of communication and interaction with students Challenges of learning new technologies and programs
Ability to use freely available online resources as additional Work overload with student emails, questions etc.
learning materials
Ability to engage learning instructors and develop course
Difficulty in separating teaching/non-teaching times with 24/7
student access online
delivery teams
Flexibility in how, when and where to participate in courses Need to have appropriate ICT infrastructure (computer, software,
Ability to undertake self-paced learning
broadband access)
Some student cohorts may prefer absence of formal classes Requires higher levels of self-motivation and time management
and need to travel
Lack of face-to-face peer interaction may be a problem for some