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Challenges of Higher Education

Challenges of higher education

Bowen (2012), speaks to the challenges of higher education – decline of government funding; frustration over high tuition costs; global competition; a weak global economy; a demographic shift that will decrease numbers of students accessing post secondary education; and an ongoing technological revolution. Adding a Canadian perspective to this discussion, Canadian post secondary education (PSE) focuses on educational access and the broader societal imperative of increased post-secondary attainment for Canadians (Community Foundations, 2012). Both contexts require institutions to work differently than they have in previous decades and I believe opens the door to the technology revolution. In 2009, 3.5 million students enrolled in Canadian post-secondary education (PSE) and created an environment that highlighted “increasing diversity of needs…indeed, students – their backgrounds, motivations and learning needs – have added layers of complexity to the traditional delivery of higher education” (Fisher, 2011, p. 4). Both Bowen and Fisher recognize the need for institutional change for better student learning. “When the playing field changes, competitors immediately re-evaluate their strengths and look for new advantages” (Bowen, p.225). Although, changing the status quo of these deeply entrenched beliefs requires a paradigm shift that takes time and can be a difficult process.

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