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Defenders and Challengers in Higher Education

VU International News and Reviews No. 105 January 29 2018

January 2018

StudyPortals’ new publication on Envisioning Pathways to 2030 offers a quick view on the authors’ take on megatrends in a) the world around higher education, b) higher education as a sector, and c) strategies for international recruitment/enrolment of students.

The selected trends are plausible – although other choices might have been equally plausible – and the foundation in statistics seems solid.

They offer an interesting conceptual framework for the position that universities may take in view of the developments around them: Defenders – Adapters – Innovators – Challengers.

The framework does beg the question where the authors would position the Dutch universities, which have been active in English taught programmes for decades but are not part of the English-speaking world.

Their message that to stick to full degree programmes for youngsters coming directly from secondary education is a “defenders’“ position, is challenging most continental European universities – and is probably meant to be just that.

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