ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL. THE BUILDING OF A GLOBAL UNIVERSITY IN A TIME OF MOOCS
University of London, Queen Mary University and Westfield College (UNITED KINGDOM)
In a time of dominance of global markets, fast growing developments in information and communication technology and economic slowdown, Higher Education is undertaking its most substantial transformation of the last three centuries. With the emergence of non-traditional providers and international research collaborations and cross national delivery of education programs, Higher Education is configuring itself even more as a global service. How is University faring as part of a global market for knowledge and innovation?
From a post-industrial, hierarchical and compartmental structure, greatly involved in providing skilled work force for local business in response to national or local policies, University is now competing in an international market in which international agreements and cross national alliances play a greater role than in the past.
Between the process of skills comparison undertaken by the Bologna process, the movement towards a joint European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Research Area (ERA), the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, international trade agreements (GATS and TRIPs) are likely to exercise a greater influence on European universities in search of new revenues.
This paper examines the influence of international agreements and soft international law on recent developments in cross national education in Europe after the emergence of MOOCs, to exemplify a larger movement towards the reification of knowledge and culture and the fight for cultural dominance.
It argues that MOOCS is a starting point, not for a revolution of Higher Education, but for a diversification of University’s offer to meet a raising demand in flexible education. On the contrary, unless Higher Education undertakes a reform of its core mission, MOOCS are likely to reinforcing the status quo.