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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2009): Education - overseas

Challenging boundaries: managing the integration of post-secondary education

N. Garrod and B. Macfarlane (editors)

London: Routledge, 2009

Across the globe, post-secondary education is typically organised within two sectors, often described as further education (or vocational and technical education) and higher education. In response to a range of social, economic and political forces, there has been a growth in the number of 'dual sector' post-secondary institutions that span this divide. However, these institutions are often characterised and benchmarked by reference to others that do not attempt to bridge the boundary which then results in their comprehensiveness as a distinctive characteristic as being overlooked. This book seeks to identify, discuss and evaluate these very characteristics and in the process the contributors question the conventional division between 'further' and 'higher' education and what a 'university' is for.

Higher education in the twenty-first century: issues and challenges

A.Y. Al-Hawaj, W. Elali and E.H. Twizell (editors)

London: Taylor & Francis, 2008

This book contains the proceedings of the international conference held at Ahlia University in the Kingdom of Bahrain in June 2007. The papers reflect the main objective of this conference which was to create a forum for academics, policy makers, senior administrators and industrial professionals to explore, discuss, and share ideas about existing and emerging practices in the higher education sector, including: building capacity for higher education and the professional; development of teachers; international education and strategic partnerships; quality assurance and academic accreditation; research in higher education institutions; and labour markets in higher education. In addition, the conference was intended to provide a platform through which all private universities in the GCC countries could join together to form a regional association.

Histories and institutional change: understanding academic development practices in the global 'north' and 'south'

S. Clegg

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 19, 2009, p. 53-65

While academic development is a new field, its practices have been productive of new learning and teaching regimes in both the global 'north' and 'south'. This paper explores the emergence of academic development as a practice and the agentic understandings of its actors in creating the academic development project in the face of global unevenness. The author offers a critical account of the emergence of academic development practice in both the global 'north', drawing on the intertwined histories of the UK and Australia, and in the global 'south', drawing on the example of South Africa. In looking at the ongoing debates about academic development she argues that in constituting teaching and learning as its object, other more radical, feminist and critical pedagogies, which are capable of dealing with power and curricula, were marginalised.

In pursuit of the knowledge worker: educating for world risk society

H. Uluorta & L. Quill

International Studies in Sociology of Education, vol. 19, 2009, p. 37-51

Higher education within the USA is increasingly perceived to be in a state of crisis, exposing the USA and its citizens to risks that spell out disaster whether from a loss of national global competitiveness, a reduction in the standard of living and/or from deep challenges to social cohesion. The suggested remedy for this condition is to transform current educational practices and institutions to better produce 'knowledge workers' who in turn may harness the limitless potentials of a global 'knowledge economy'. The authors argue that while this vision of education might seem compelling, the transition to a 'knowledge economy' is more fiction that fact and better understood as part of risk society where education does not reduce the anxiety associated with developed post-industrial economies, but serves to exacerbate it.

Learning to compete in European Universities

M. McKelvey & M. Holmén (editors)

Cheltenham: Elgar, 2009

This book addresses the critical issue of how and why European universities are changing and learning to compete. Anglo-Saxon universities, particularly in the US, the UK and Australia, have long been subject to, and responded to, market-based competition in higher education. The authors argue that Continental and Nordic universities and higher education institutes are now facing similar pressures that are leading to a structural transformation of the university sector. The authors address a number of important themes, including emergent strategies, diversification and specialisation, and rethinking university-industry relations. The book provides a timely and critical reflection on what happens as European universities transform from government-funded social institutions to become knowledge businesses operating in a competitive environment.

Marketing the university: the subjective perceptions of Israeli academics of their role in attracting new students to their institution

I. Oplatka

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 31, 2009, p. 207-217

The aim of this qualitative study was to explore Israeli academics' perceptions of the introduction of educational markets, in particular, their attitudes towards academics' roles and responsibilities in the new marketing-led university, as well as to obtain a greater understanding of their actual patterns of involvement in the marketing of their institutions. Based on open-structured interviews with 15 academics, the study revealed that they display contradictory viewpoints; while several believed academics should play some role in open days and related promotional activities, others resisted any kind of involvement. Most, however, considered teaching and good quality research as an academic's major contribution to the marketing of their institution.

Pragmatics, politics and moral purpose: the quest for an authentic national curriculum

M. Bezzina, R.J. Starratt & C. Burford

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47, 2009, p. 545-556

The national curriculum represents the largest educational change in Australia's history and requires a thorough examination by stakeholders of the purposes and values underpinning it and how such a centralised curriculum can build the learning capacity of the nation. This paper challenges political and educational leaders to conduct the national curriculum building dialogue at the local, state, and national levels and to open up previous 'givens' to interrogation. The authors call for a long-term process to protect the authenticity and moral purpose of the national curriculum and maximise its ownership and potential for change.

Technology-enhanced learning: principles and products

N. Balacheff and others (editors)

Dordrecht: Springer, 2009

The purpose of this book is to present and discuss current trends and issues in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) from a European research perspective. TEL is seen as a multifaceted and multidisciplinary topic and the book reflects this in that it is considered from four different viewpoints, each of which constitutes a separate part of the book. The parts include general as well as domain-specific principles of learning that have been found to play a significant role in TEL environments, ways to shape the environment to optimise learners' interactions and learning, and specific technologies used by the environment to empower learners.

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