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.
There’s one phenomenon growing even faster than MOOCs: the news coverage around MOOCs. Buzz about MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses—has generated some interesting practical and philosophical questions in higher education.
Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of participating in a study tour sponsored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to learn about the German higher education landscape. It was a particularly exciting time to visit the country. The European soccer championship was underway, and German universities were awaiting the announcement of the results of the second phase of the Excellence Initiative.