HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE GLOBAL AGENDA: ALTERNATIVE PATHS TO THE FUTUREConcurrent Session III.2: Widening Student Participation and Success in Higher Education Professor Kathryn Bindon Director The Takatuf Scholars Programme Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
Focus on the GCC RegionHigher Education in the GCC is full of instructive contradictions Too much wealth creates challenges for quality and access Entrepreneurs embrace the role of “founder” as worthy and “funder” as economically rewarding Attractive financial arrangements reduce due diligence A sea of international institutional logos in the absence of meaningful, practical relationships represents less, rather than more, quality Goals of creating 21st century diversified economies vs. content driven, „job specific‟ 20th century degreesIf we truly wish to link student participation and success to a meaningfulagenda for the future, it would be wise to pay frank attention to this regionand the many ways in which universities and educational consultantsinteract with it in order to identify some of the things that are worth avoidingas we build and adapt to new global relationships.
The Issues in the GCC Region ACCESS is limited in many senses: Not enough seats Lack of quality due to limitations in teaching, research, programming and curricula Disciplinary tunnels QUALITY is not universally understood Standards often borrowed by young, wealthy nations No „system thinking‟ Institutions emerge before public policy is framed Content rules in programmes, pedagogy and assessment Summative assessment more comfortable than formative
The Context: Strategic & WealthyGlobal Participants Recent oil & gas wealth Close and connected to much of the world Framing a role as global participants and searching for Deep rooted historical, social new balances: economic and trade relationships with growth and diversification a Asia and Africa priority; culture and politics
The Context: Demographics & Economics High rate of population growth “The GCC population growth has averaged 3 percent per annum over the past five years, among the highest growth Increase in youth population rates in the world (Figure 2). Moreover, the average life expectancy across the region has risen from 60 years in the creating pressure for spaces late 1970s to 75 years primarily due to various health reforms. The sharp population growth is set to be High levels of youth accompanied by a shift in the demographic structure of the region over the next 20 years, as the young population ages. unemployment and „Arab The current average age in the Gulf ranges from 23 to 31 years; however, the proportion of population above 60 years Spring‟ creating immediate and of age will increase as Gulf baby boomers born during the urgent pressure for spaces regions first oil price boom become pensioners. “ (From GRC Cambridge Alawi/Alkhazim Workshop, Graph from &/or engagement, World Bank, Accessed at http://grm.grc.net/index.php?pgid=Njk=&wid=NDA=) nationalisation of labour forces Imported labour devalues vocational education and employment Expectation of high income from employment Women attending in unprecedented numbers
The Urgency for ACCESS and QUALITY: Less than a decade from now….. Intermediate scenario Demand for professionals will continue to grow as economies 28,000 (headcount) employees by 2022, 61% of which is part of OOC Companies (39% project-based) diversify, technology creates new opportunities, global clustersHeadcounts foster innovation30,000 28,346 Nationalisation of the labour force continues with more urgency than +16%20,000 17,362 17,258 (61%) time for preparation10,000 10,668 The workplace becomes more 6,394 10,984 sophisticated and demands (39%) 0 6,394 6,590 graduates who are continuous 2012 2017 2022 learners, equipped with key competencies for the 21st century Environmental stewardship, social responsibility increase in importance to us all
The Higher Education Landscape in theGCC: Education as Big Business Public Policy links „education‟ to The United Arab Emirates‟ Vision 2020 promises on page 1: In a strong and safe union, knowledgeable and economic well-being and social unity innovative Emiratis will confidently build a competitive and resilient economy. They will thrive as a cohesive Access = big business, so „for profit‟ society bonded to its identity, and enjoy the highest standards of living within a nurturing and sustainable is the approach to expansion environment. There are not many good „for profit‟ The Kingdom of Bahrain places the real wealth of its citizens in a role models (witness progress of The primary position in its Our Vision: From Regional Pioneer to Global Contender: The Economic Vision 2030 for Bahrain: Standards of Responsible Conduct and Transparency in the U.S.) We aspire to shift from an economy built on oil wealth to a productive, globally competitive economy, shaped by Expansion often pre-dated the government and driven by a pioneering private sector – an economy that raises a broad middle class of policies/processes for Quality Bahrainis who enjoy good living standards through increased productivity and high-wage jobs. Assurance and/or accreditation Our society and government will embrace the principles of sustainability, competitiveness and fairness to ensure Someone else‟s logo is sufficient that every Bahraini has the means to live a secure and indication of quality for many start- fulfilling life and reach their full potential. ups Few models of adapted governance
The Challenges to Quality Twentieth-century curricula Twentieth-century pedagogies Infrastructure Research and measurement – drilling down from international test scores Lack of „undergraduate experience‟ Lack of learning partnerships Young nations, young institutions – need to enter http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Learn-About/21st- the twenty-first century Century/Basics-v-20-21st-century-skills.html without benefit of „prior learning‟ experiences
What is valued most vs. what is mostvaluable….Return on Interest or Return onIntellect? Why, anybody can have a brain. Thats a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain! Back where I come from we have universities seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. When they come out, they think deep thoughts with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you havent got: A diploma! Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitatus Committeeatum E Pluribus Unum I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of Th.D. "Th.D."? Yeah, thats "Doctor of Thinkology.“ Wizard of Oz, 1939
Case Study: The “ABCD” Chronology 2003 – “ABCD”, a well-known and respected private, not-for-profit institution chartered in the USA enters into an agreement with a single individual to establish a campus in a GCC nation; approval is given by the Higher Education Council of the nation. 2008 - The parent institution submits its self-study for review by its accrediting agency, The Higher Education Commission of the Middle States, in which it states: The overall strategic objectives of [ABCD‟s] international programs are to provide opportunities for high-quality education for the professions to students around the world, contribute to the intellectual vitality of [ABCD‟s] offerings in all locations through the experience gained abroad, increase enrollment, and make positive contributions to [ABCD‟s] overall financial health. In order to be effective in global markets, [ABCD] often needs to be associated with respected local educational institutions that can provide guidance on local requirements and regulations, and perhaps also supply a pool of qualified full-time and adjunct faculty members. Beyond this, [ABCD] needs associates and partners who have the resources and management capacities to meet the logistical challenges of growth, including the ability to recruit students, provide and manage facilities, deal with the local authorities, and supply a local infrastructure of administrative services. Few potential associates combine all of these features, and, as a result, [ABCD] has relationships with a combination of academic partner institutions and academic entrepreneurs prepared to invest in collaborative projects.
The Cautionary Case Study Continued 2008: Commission pays one-day site visit to “ABCD-GCC” and finds that “…all aspects of the campus and its programs are consistent with the Commission‟s standards as described in Characteristics of Excellence…” 2008: Billboards and advertisements and website for “ABCD-GCC” identify extensive number of accrediting agencies and claim: [ABCD] is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools… In addition, its professional programs are accredited by their respective professional accrediting agencies which have received worldwide acceptance. [ABCD-GCC] is accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and scientific research … and shares in the same regional and national accreditation as the [ABCD] home campus in the U.S. Degrees granted by [ABCD-GCC] are identical in all aspects to the degrees awarded at the [ABCD] campuses in the United States and carry with them the same importance, recognition and prestige. The “ABCD” website properly identifies accrediting agencies and limitations of accreditation. 2009: “ABCD‟s” accreditation affirmed, including GCC „other location‟ (defined in certificate as “A location, other than a branch campus, that is geographically apart from the main campus and at which the institution offers at least 50 percent of an educational program.”)
The Battle of the Accreditors 2009: New Quality Assurance authority in GCC nation conducts first institutional review of “ABCD-GCC” using international evaluators and applying a set of criteria modeled on international practice. Published report indicates: The Panel could find no evidence that [ABCD‟s] protocols for assuring the integrity of the assessment process are being applied at its [GCC] campus.… [ABCD-GCC ] has yet to establish its identity as an institution of higher education in [GCC]. It has still to ground itself fully in the academic project…. [ABCD-GCC] needs to reconsider its conceptualisation of the institution in order to (i) meet the Higher Education Council regulations and other legislative requirements of the country, (ii) strike an appropriate balance between being a business enterprise and a provider of higher education and within which it develops and implements an appropriate quality management system, (iii) develop further its understanding of what it means to be a quality higher education institution in [GCC], (iv) develop indicators to measure progress towards achieving this goal, and (v) in the light of the findings and in conjunction with national imperatives, develop its vision, mission and goals. [ABCD-GCC] also needs to develop and articulate its approach to teaching and learning in a comprehensive academic plan which will stem from its mission and will enable consistent and robust teaching underpinned by research across the faculties and support the academic success of students. This, together with the need for an allocation of time for research, will have implications for the workload of academic staff. Failure to give urgent attention to these matters constitutes a major risk to the viability, status and reputation of [ABCD-GCC].
Winners & Losers?• 2009: GCC Quality Assurance authority Programme Review There is no confidence in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Programme offered by [ABCD-GCC].• 2010: GCC Quality Assurance authority Programme Review There is no confidence in the Master of Science in Information, Network and Computer Security offered by [ABCD-GCC].• 2011: GCC Quality Assurance authority Programme Re-Review There is no confidence in the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration offered by [ABCD-GCC].• 2011: GCC Local Headlines: “[ABCD-GCC] to close campus” The [ABCD-GCC], one of the leading suppliers of higher education courses … is to close its … campus. [ABCD-GCC] opened in 2003 and has informed the Ministry of Education of its decision to phase out its undergraduate and graduate degree programmes over a period of three years. An [ABCD] statement said: "Rules and regulations required by [the state]…are not consistent with [ABCDs] requirements and standards in the US. The university will continue to offer the courses necessary for currently matriculated degree seeking students to complete their degrees in [country] … within a predetermined amount of time.
Responsibility The mismatch of rhetoric and reality must be identified – we need a series of cautionary case studies rather than polite conversations If your logo is being used, you need to know If your name is used, you need to be aware and assume accountability for testing the outcomes Mature institutions need to assume a leadership and mentoring role There need to be international monitoring mechanisms – principled rather than prescriptive, but demonstrable and with consequences for those institutions that fail their students Transparency in all relationships should be first principle: financial relationships should be disclosed, franchise operations should be governed by quality frameworks and payment for any and all services – including quality assurance – should be noted National policies need to be more alert to claims that their „quality education systems‟ are being replicated
Widening Student Participation and Success Remedies Opportunities Let us be our own best critics and Demonstrate global leadership analyse what should not be through meaningful and effective happening support of quality learning Embrace research and development experiences and outcomes in culturally adapted measures of Expand institutional relationships to learning and outcomes include private and public sector Learn how to analyse „the deal‟ partners Build new levels of international Engage in mutually beneficial accountability into all levels of initiatives – e.g. work with GCC quality assurance and accreditation institutions to develop 21st century teaching and learning capacity, and Create frameworks of social build new networks for global responsibility and codes of ethics to engagement and research – underpin international linkages at all demythologize new approaches in levels, test them and report on them the GCC for adaptation for home Keep monitoring and measuring, Embrace the challenge of being and insist that partners do the same global universities – demonstrate Include developing nation that roles are adaptable, impact is institutions, both rich and poor, in meaningful and participation is emerging networks necessary to a global agenda
Thank you PO Box 261, Postal Code 118 Muscat, Sultanate of Oman Tel: +968 2452 9069 Fax: +968 2452 3101 www.takatufscholars.com Professor Kathryn Bindon email@example.com