CFP: The History and Future of Higher Education

CFP: The History and Future of Higher Education
Saturday, April 5, 2014 (All day)

Tom Abeles and his journal On the Horizon are joining the FutureEd movement with a special journal issue. The CFP is below.

Call for Papers - The History and Future of Higher Education


The rise of the Internet with its globally expanding social networks is creating new, overlapping communities that are significantly different from the sense of community existing throughout human history. The Internet has created new knowledge networks that make the cost of access to information asymptotically approaching zero. It makes that knowledge transferable across geopolitical boundaries. Knowledge that was once carried across land and sea in the heads of scholars and physical media is now accessible in a “smart” phone.

The need, desire, and demand for this knowledge now or soon will encompass the global population. 

What the future of the University could, should, ought to be cannot be separated from its history, the history of the institution, its faculties/infrastructure, the seekers of knowledge and those who support the institution embedded in the community, local and/or global. How that history has played out in time and as seen in its current embodiment plays into its future, also.

From the founding of the first “universities” at the beginning of the second millennium, there have been many participants whose roles have changed over the years. These include:

a) Scholars who have been seekers, creators and “teachers”. Often they have ventured out in these efforts and at other times they have carried out their activities within the university
b) Funders of Universities that have ranged from governments of cities, states, nations as well as religious entities and patrons. These parties have provided boundaries and defined expectations that have varied over time but which have, often with velvet gloves or iron hands, directed the purpose of the institution and those who practiced within
c) Public-at-Large, often through the governments and other entities, such as the private sector businesses, and through payments of tuition and support to those who enter the universities, have a voice and expectations for the institutions and the scholars who reside there
d) Students include all who directly or indirectly enter the institutions to seek knowledge and gain skills and whose relationship with and demands of the institution have varied with time, ranging from passive acceptance to challenging the institution and faculty.

The interactions of these parties have changed over time resulting in the institutions that exist today. The Internet presents a disruptive force that changes the dynamics of the interactive parties, now global in nature.

The special issue themes

These themed issues of On the Horizon seek contributions that explore these complex interactions and provide insights into the probable, possible, preventable and preferable futures of post secondary education, locally and globally.

Suggested Themes

a) The Scholar- How has the world of the scholar changed and what will that look like in an institution impacted by technologies and needs including what has traditionally been defined as “scholarship/research”, teaching and other demands/opportunities? What will shape the experience?
b) The Institution- What has been and what will be the function of an academic institution or what new forms will emerge? What has driven the structure/function and what will drive it in the future?
c) Economics, Politics, Religion- What are the external factors that will shape the future of post secondary education and how has this changing set of influence driven change in the past?
d) Quest for Knowledge- Who, over time, seek out institutions of higher learning, for that which is understood as known and that which is yet to be uncovered? How will this change?
e) Culture- A social network that is global has demands that may prove significantly different from geo/politically bound communities. How will this change?
f) Competition- Is there a marketplace that will see new and different entrants into the space occupied by current academic institutions?

Key dates

The due date for the first issue:

Ideas/abstracts : 5 April 2014 
Draft papers :17 May 2014
Final papers : 5 July 2014

Subsequent dates and details to be announced

Abstracts, questions, suggestions to:

Dr. Tom P. Abeles, editor
On the Horizon


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