The Future of On-Campus Higher Education?

Margaret Andrews, Inside Higher Ed, Apr 05, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not sure exactly when this came out (it's copyrighted 2100) but it's more Stanford hubris, 'discovering' a future the rest of us have been talking about for years. Here are the major elements:

  • Education will be fully envisaged as a lifelong journey, rather than a one-shot, four-year stint
  • The education will focus more on skill acquisition than disciplinary topics and therefore the university will be organized around competency hubs, rather than academic fields
  • The education model will move from an industrial revolution-style, one-size-fits-few freshman/sophomore/junior/senior classification to a personal-paced learning program
  • The school will move away from having students declare a major, toward having them declare a purpose

Of these, the last is the most interesting. But I have the feeling that, in the end, 'purpose' will be selected from a drop-down list. Because, you know, standardized vocabulary.

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