Higher education worldwide is in the midst of tremendous change. Old norms are being upended; old models of learning are being questioned. The very purposes of the university are being challenged not only by forces within the academy, but by competitive realities that are very foreign to most university leaders. The outcomes of university education are being called into question, and many will find it hard to justify old ways of doing business when that microscope comes to bear on their institutions. At the same time, the balance of global economic power is shifting from the Atlantic-centered world view to a new perspective that is distinctly Pacific.
In this changing landscape, we need institutions willing to break the traditional mould. We need uncommon leaders, uncommon faculties, and uncommon systems and processes for making decisions. Creativity and vision are more important than ever. We need people at every level that are willing to try new ideas, to take risks, and even to fail on the road to getting it right.
Join Horizon Project founder Larry Johnson as he traces the evolution of the modern university, and details significant challenges and shifts in that framework that universities must understand and embrace. Collectively, these challenges will require a tectonic level shift in the common wisdom, but that will not be enough. Universities that aspire to be world class will need uncommon wisdom, as the very nature of what we mean by “world class” is inexorably shifting as well.