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The World of Higher Education

The World of Higher Education

Author: Higher Education Strategy Associates

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The World of Higher Education is dedicated to exploring developments in higher education from a global perspective. Join host, Alex Usher of Higher Education Strategy Associates, as he speaks with new guests each week from different countries discussing developments in their regions.

Produced by Tiffany MacLennan and Samantha Pufek.
52 Episodes
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Today's guest, for the final episode of the season, is William C. Kirby, T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University and Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and formerly that university’s dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences. Two years ago he wrote a book called Empire of Ideas: Creating the Modern University for Germany to America to China. Dr. Kirby, having had the rare good fortune to teach in all three countries is extremely well-placed to talk about how the top institutions in all three have evolved over the decade. 
Our guests this week are Andrea Petö from the Central European University in Vienna and Jo-Anne Dillabough of Cambridge University in the UK. These two are collaborators on the UK ESRC project Higher Education, States of Precarity and Conflict in the 'Global North' and 'Global South': UK, Hungary, South Africa, and Turkey and the Horizon Europe project Rising nationalisms, shifting geopolitics and the future of European higher education and research openness. In early May, they jointly penned an article for University World News entitled New Deceptions: How Illiberalism is hijacking the university. Today’s discussion ranges over the history of higher education (haven’t universities been illiberal for most of their history), institutional ownership (are private universities necessarily illiberal?) and the role of federalism in moderating illiberalism. 
This week's guest is Dr. Gero Federkeil, head of international projects at the Centrum fur Hochschulenwicklung, or Center for Higher Education, in Gütersloh, Germany. He's with us to talk about two totally unrelated topics: the changing profile of university enrolments in Germany, and rankings — specifically U-Multirank. 
Today's guest today is Dr. Jisun Jung of the University of Hong Kong. She is an expert in Korean higher education and the discussion today ranges from the post-war history of higher education to the very real and immanent challenges that institutions are facing with respect to declining enrolment. 
Today's guest is Thomas Jorgensen, the Director for Policy Coordination and Foresight at the European University Association. He walk us through the way policy is made in Brussels and how European Commission has gradually acquired competencies in areas relevant to higher education.
This week's guest is Dr. Gerard Postiglione, Professor Emeritus and Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. In this episode, Gerry takes us through changes in higher education in China, from the initial opening under Deng Xiaoping, through the rapid system expansion under Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, to the present system under Xi Jinping. 
To help sort out all the complexities of the US system, our guest today is Brendan Cantwell, professor at Michigan State University who specializes in the political economy of higher education. He takes us through some of the more notable state-level battles going on right now in America, the difference in how Republicans attack public vs private institutions, and most interestingly of all, the question of whether there is some actual governance objectives behind all of the culture wars, or whether it is just performative theatre.
Today my guest is Phil Hill, an ed tech consultant and Lead at Phill Hill and Associates. Today he joins us to talk about the last twenty years and how they have shaped the sector. The conversation ranges pretty widely across a number of topics here, one of the most interesting has to do with the historic role of MOOCs. Alex and Phil agree that they are a historic failure judged by the claims made about their impact at the time, but Phil argues – pretty persuasively, that they might just possibly have been a key turning point in the history of the delivery higher education.Links:Phil Hill and AssociatesHESA's 2024 Canadian Federal Budget Commentary
Today's guest is Professor N. V. Varghese, the Vice Chancellor of the National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration in New Delhi. He's the co-editor of a recent book entitled India Higher Education Report 2021, Private Higher Education and he's with us today to discuss his book. Two points really stand out. The first is the truly different worlds inhabited by private colleges in India and that inhabited by private universities. And the second is the role that large corporations and philanthropists are playing in the development of these new top universities. 
Today's guest is Dr. Mykola Trofymenko, the President of Mariupol State University. He agreed to join the show to talk about the events of early 2022, how he steered the institution through the siege and after it, and how the institution, now known as “the Invincible University” came to gain a new home in Kyiv. It’s a harrowing story, but also an inspiring one — and one that gets to the heart of the question: what makes a university — bricks and mortar, or people?To support Mariupol State University please click here.
This week we welcome back our very first podcast guest, Andrew Norton, Professor in the Practice of Higher Education Policy at Australian National University, to follow up on the Australian Universities Accord. Andrew has been at the forefront of higher education policy debates in Australia for over two decades, and is the author of several editions of “Mapping Australian Higher Education”. Today, Andrew's back to give us his expert take on questions including, what exactly does the final report recommend? How workable are recommendations? How much of it will the government actually choose to implement? Links:Australian Universities AccordMapping Australian Higher Education 2024The World of Higher Education, Season 1 Episode 1
With us today is Maria Yudkevich, a professor of Higher Education at the University of Haifa in Israel. She is the co-author, with Yaroslav Kuzminov of the excellent book Higher Education in Russia, published in 2022 by Johns Hopkins Press. She’s an expert guide to both the elements of change and continuity that have gone along with a century of constant upheaval, and, as a former academic in the Russian system, she also has a strong sense of the current system’s strengths and weaknesses. Maybe her most interesting point has to do with the nature of power in and over Russian universities: that even when universities appeared to have autonomy, the arm of the state was never that far apart. 
With us this week is David Kernohan, Deputy Editor of the website WonkHE. which is as close to a sister organization to Higher Education Strategy Associates as exists anywhere on the globe, David, more than anyone, has been tracking the development of the Lifelong Learning Entitlement since it was a wee nugget of a policy notion. He tells us about how the policy has changed over time, what recent pilot projects tell us about the policy’s chances for success are and – crucially – gives us some odds on the likelihood of this policy ever seeing the light of day given the number of still-unanswered questions on policy details and the upcoming UK elections.
With us today is Courtney Brown, Vice President of Impact and Planning at Lumina Foundation and the person most responsible for making sure the foundation hits its goals and develops new and even more meaningful ones. The conversation covers how Lumina went about its goal setting process, what tactics it's used to build a wide network of alliances across the U.S., how close it's come to succeeding in its goals, and what the organization's next set of goals might be. 
Today's guest is Angela Yung-Chi Hou. She is currently a Professor of National Chengchi University in Taipei and for nearly two decades has been the foremost English-language scholar of Taiwanese higher education. Bu her career has not been restricted to Academia; for much of the past few years she was also head of the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, which is one of the most important bodies in the Taiwanese higher ed ecosystem. That makes her an ideal guide to the history and politics of higher education in Taiwan.
Our guest this week is Alex Usher, President and CEO of Higher Education Strategy Associates. Alex joins co-producer Tiffany MacLennan to talk about the Canadian Higher Education sector, higher education consulting, and his thoughts on the future of higher education. 
Today's guest is Andrée Sursock, a higher education consultant and Senior Advisor to the European Universities Association. She's here to take us on a guided tour of the French system and its history and also to describe the rapid pace of reforms that have taken place over the last two decades, in particular through the presidencies of Nicolas Sarkozy and Emmanuel Macron.Past episodes referenced:1.10: Autonomy ScorecardBooks referenced:Academic Star Wars, Excellence Initiatives in Global PerspectiveEdited by Jamil Salmi, Philip Altbach, Maria Yudkevich
Today's guest is Dr. Morshidi Sirat. He’s one of Malaysia’s most experienced higher education observers and policy-makers. Over the last two decades he;s been a Dean, a Vice-Chancellor, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education, Director General of Higher Education for Malaysia and the Founding Director of Malaysia’s Commonwealth Tertiary Education Facility. In our discussion, he guides us through the ins-and-outs of Malaysia’s success over many decades of higher education investment. 
With us today is Roger Smyth. He’s a consultant based in Christchurch New Zealand and a former senior official in New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, and he’s had a privileged perch to observe changes in the country’s student assistance policies over the past two decades. Roger is skeptical about the value of the new program. But what was fascinating in this interview is how much evidence actually exists that the previous policy of making first year free had almost no impact either. Links referenced:Education Counts: Fees Free tertiary educationRoger Smyth: The new take on fees free
Today my guest is Brian Rosenberg, a former president of Macalester University of Minnesota and currently a president in residence — that's really a thing — at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education. He's just written a book about academic politics with the wonderful title, “Whatever It Is, I'm Against It”: Resistance to Change in Higher Education. In it, Rosenberg describes how powerless are most universities, those supposed bastions of evidence and truth, to get their faculty to actually pay attention to anything regarding to the science of learning. Or even getting faculty to collectively agree to change of any sort. Link to book:“Whatever It Is, I'm Against It”: Resistance to Change in Higher EducationInterested in learning more about HESA's AI Advisory Services? Contact Us
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Chad Rourke

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May 28th
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