The Edgeless University argues that this can be a moment of rebirth for universities. Technology is changing universities as they become just one source among many for ideas, knowledge and innovation. But online tools and open access also offer the means for their survival. Their expertise and value is needed more than ever to validate and support learning and research. Through their institutional capital, universities can use technology to offer more flexible provision and open more equal routes to higher education and learning.

Edgeless University: why higher education must embrace technology

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British Universities have world-class reputations and they are vital to our social and economic future. But they are in a tight spot. The huge public investment that sustained much of the sector is in jeopardy and the current way of working is not sustainable. Some are predicting the end of the university as we have known it.

The Edgeless University argues that this can be a moment of rebirth for universities. Technology is changing universities as they become just one source among many for ideas, knowledge and innovation. But online tools and open access also offer the means for their survival. Their expertise and value is needed more than ever to validate and support learning and research.

Through their institutional capital, universities can use technology to offer more flexible provision and open more equal routes to higher education and learning. We need the learning and research that higher education provides. But this will take strategic leadership from within, new connections with a growing world of informal learning and a commitment to openness and collaboration. By exploiting this role, universities can harness technology as a solution and an indispensable tool for shaping their vital role in the future.

Demos is a London-based think tank which looks to generate ideas to improve politics and policy, and give people more power over their lives. The Edgeless University is supported by JISC.

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Summary
Author
Peter Bradwell, Demos
Publication Date
23 June 2009
Publication Type
Topic