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Work Groups

The participants of the Teaching Innovation Workshop will work on scenarios published by the OECD on the development of the international higher education landscape. Each of the work groups will be given one of four scenarios to discuss.

The work groups will include students, teachers, and administrative employees, thus ensuring that the perspectives of all status groups are represented in the dialogue process. Each work group will be given a scenario developed by the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) as part of the University Futures Project. The scenarios will form the main basis for discussion at the workshop. The intention of these scenarios is not so much to make concrete prognoses as to provide a pointed sketch of potential developments as a basis for discourse. The main focus is thus not on how realistic the scenarios are, but on the question: “What would happen if...?”

The four scenarios for higher education are circa one page each in original form. They may be summarized as follows:

Work Group 1 – Open Networking

netzwerk-credit-peter-mesenholl-hp.jpgThe landscape is characterized by a high level of internationalization and intensive networking between institutions, teachers, and learners as well as actors from societal groups and private companies. Developments in information technology intensify the trend toward modularization, standardization, English as the language of instruction, availability of courses online, and room for individual student projects. Vocational training institutions and parts of the higher education landscape begin to converge.

 

Work Group 2 – Serving Local Communities

schild-credit-universitat-hu.jpgUniversities are closely integrated into regional structures. Their research and instruction is geared toward local economic and societal demands, and they receive most of their funding from regional sources. Only elite institutions collaborate on an international level. As a whole, the significance of research sinks in comparison to teaching. Most of the research is conducted in economically relevant areas. The universities become more like other educational institutions. Lifelong learning and continuing education become more important.

 

Work Group 3 – New Public Responsibility

kinder-credit-rudiger-buhll-hp.jpgHigher education continues to receive the bulk of its funding from public sources, while the methods of “new public management” become more prominent: market orientation, control through financial incentives, autonomy of institutions, and a broader diversification of funding sources. This causes the boundary between private and public to become increasingly obscured. Reputation through research is complemented by factors like quality of instruction and employability. Instruction is oriented more closely toward the demands of students (who pay for their education).

 

Work Group 4 – Higher Education Inc.

highereducation-credit-peter-mesenholl-hp.jpgHigher education institutions around the world compete in a completely globalized world to provide the best education and research services on a commercial basis. They focus either on research or on instruction; the areas of undergraduate and graduate education are also clearly separated. Universities compete to attract the best researchers and students on the global educational market.
 

(Source: OECD scenarios in English [PDF])

The English version of the scenarios provided the basis for discussion in the work groups. We can send you our own German translation of the scenarios upon request.