We stand now at approximately 500 days from the initial target date for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals set in 1990. These goals represent the most ambitious shared aspirations of humanity the modern world ever assembled. As we take measure now of the successes and shortfalls of this global effort, redouble our efforts for real, sustained progress in these final 500 days, and establish the framework for beyond 2015, I am inspired by what has been achieved and worried about what comes next.
With the Millennium Development Goals nearing their deadline, the development sector has been rife with speculation about what the post-2015 development agenda will look like and what role, if any, higher education should play in this future outlook. So it is only appropriate that the United Nations is asking whether Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)—with their focus on offering tertiary-level courses for mass consumption—are a panacea for increasing access to tertiary education in the developing world, or whether they will instead widen the gap between those with access to higher education and those without.
Are we preparing today’s youth to be successful in the workplace? I think that is a question that we as educators should be constantly asking ourselves. Getting a good (and hopefully international) education is not enough. We need to make sure that today’s youth are getting the skills and experience to create their own futures and be successful globally. This is one of the reasons I am so proud that IIE is partnering with the Alcoa Foundation to manage their 125th anniversary initiative to support internships for youth from around the Globe.
When the current Education for All (EFA) goals expire in 2015, the pendulum of global funding for education may swing in the direction of higher education. The EFA movement—supported for over a decade by more than 160 countries and coordinated by UNESCO—has a lofty goal to “provide quality basic education for all children, youths and adults by 2015.” EFA is aligned with the educational components of the Millennium Development Goals, which include universal primary education and gender parity and empowerment of women. Higher education has not been a target of these development goals.
Monday, May 6, 2013
The Institute of International Education (IIE) supports open, ongoing and inclusive discussion of the post-2015 global development agenda and upholds the vision of the UN Global Consultation on Education that “equitable quality lifelong education and learning for all” should be central to the post-2015 goals.
Reflections on the 2012 World Innovation Summit in Doha
The annual World Innovation Summit on Education—known as WISE—is a unique, multi-sectoral education conference. It brings together stakeholders from primary, secondary, and higher education, government, corporations and technology companies, NGOs, and—critically—students. And it is one of the most global education events I’ve ever been to: 1,200 participants from more than 100 countries.
Recently, I attended a dinner where the keynote speaker gave a speech on youth leadership. This topic is of great interest to me because a significant portion of IIE’s work in sub-Saharan Africa focuses on leadership development, particularly for women and youth. The speaker talked about the importance of making space for young people. Afterward, my dinner companion remarked, “There is so much talk about leadership these days, but I’d really like to know what people are actually doing to make space for young people.” His comments resonated with me.