Sector traditions can survive ‘digital avalanche’

UUK head dismisses warning over technological change

April 24, 2014

Pundits predicting that an “avalanche” of technological and competitive change will sweep away “traditional” higher education are wrong and often have a commercial motive for making such comments, according to the chief executive of Universities UK.

Nicola Dandridge did not specify who her comments were aimed at, but she could have been referring to Pearson, the multibillion-pound firm whose senior employees, including Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser, penned a report last year called An Avalanche Is Coming, which urged a “radical and urgent” transformation of universities.

At the Association of University Administrators conference on 15 April, she said: “Those who often talk about the merits of the avalanche – be it a digital avalanche or an unbundling avalanche – it’s those who tend to have a commercial interest in promoting its existence”.

She was speaking in a debate in favour of the motion that “traditional higher education will withstand any revolution and grow stronger”.

“If we abandon those traditions and embrace the faddish, the Moocish [referring to massive open online courses], the new, we are at risk of losing something profound and valuable,” she said.

Universities’ “monopoly” over degree awarding powers is coming to an end as students are able to obtain degrees from global online providers, the report predicts.

A spokeswoman for Pearson said that the report “actually argues that the next 50 years could see a golden age for higher education, but only if all players seize the initiative and act ambitiously”.

“Pearson takes no commercial position on any of this – we already work with traditional universities, providing books, software and services, and equally we are beginning to partner with Moocs in some circumstances,” she added.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

登录 或者 注册 以便阅读全文。

请先注册再进行下一步

获得一个月的无限制地在线阅读网站内容。只需注册并完成您的职业简介.

注册是免费的,而且非常简单。一旦成功注册,您可以每个月免费阅读3篇文章。:

  • 获得编辑推荐文章
  • 率先获得泰晤士高等教育世界大学排名相关的新闻
  • 获得职位推荐、筛选工作和保存工作搜索结果
  • 参与读者讨论和公布评论
注册

欢迎反馈

Log in or register to post comments

评论最多

Recent controversy over the future directions of both Stanford and Melbourne university presses have raised questions about the role of in-house publishing arms in a world of commercialisation, impact agendas, alternative facts – and ever-diminishing monograph sales. Anna McKie reports

3 October