For an academician, the estimated future of higher education, should be nothing less than intriguing. The growth of the Chinese and Indian universities and the waning dominance of the West are the two most striking speculations documented so far. 2040! Yes we’re talking 2040! Considering the sea-changes that are likely to shape the future of Higher Education, it won’t really be wrong to claim that 2040 is way too near – i.e. too early for so many changes to take place.
What the book says about education in 2040
Bert Van der Zwaan, the rector magnificus of Utrecht University and Chairman of European Research Universities has come up with a string of predictions regarding Higher education in 2040. Titled, “Higher Education in 2040: A Global Approach”, his book takes a look at the exhilarating future of higher education marked by increased Asian prominence and declining Western influence. Let us take a look at details.
It has been estimated that the Chinese and Indian Universities will actually expand by one-hundred folds in future – thanks to the unprecedented rise of knowledge hubs. The growth of knowledge hubs will definitely be associated with improved focus on top-level scholars, research institutions and universities. Advanced research infrastructures with dynamic interface would be the future as well.
Zwaan, in his book, has also told us about the drastic changes in degree structures and curriculum in the coming years. The relationship between teaching and research will witness notable changes as well.
The growth of knowledge hubs – he says- will be directly influenced by the size of regions. According to him, there will be two knowledge hubs in North America – one in the Boston area and one in North America. London, according to him, however, will actually go on to maintain the status of a knowledge hub with marked ease.
More about these predictions
Zwaan’s views have received support from luminaries like Jouke de Vries. Vries is the professor of governance and public policy at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He opined that Zwaan’s predictions are partially right and very strong in their comparative perspective. It has been opined that the Western world is clearly in decline while universities in Asia are growing.
It has also been pointed out by others that in countries like Netherlands the state is becoming less important than the religion. Needless to say, this is viewed as a potential reason behind the expected decline in standards of education.