Across the world, the field of higher education is undergoing dramatic changes, mainly under the impact of Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance and of Artificial Intelligence. The workplace and employment transformations these technologies are creating compel universities to adapt, and rethink both pedagogical approaches and the very nature of the curricula they offer.
With this in mind, IFCU has established a Higher Education Foresight Department, aimed at providing decision support for presidents and managing teams of member-universities. The department will henceforth publish an annual report on ongoing and future changes affecting and likely to affect the near-term landscape of higher education, professional training and the job market – as AI, automation and robotization are penetrating or even taking over an ever-increasing range of professions and trades.
Dr. Corinne Mellul is IFCU’s Head of Research and concentrates in her work on the transformations of higher education and labor under the impact of technology. She is happy to deliver talks and presentations at relevant events among member-institutions and beyond.
Four times a year, IFCU’s Foresight Unit suggests five leading trends to watch in the higher-education sector over the coming months or years.
In 2018, the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) published its first review of developing trends in higher education and the workplace, which focused on the disruptive effects in these two areas of technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With that report, titled Emerging Technologies in Higher Education and the Workplace: An Assessment, IFCU initiated the yearly publication of a broad overview of the state of higher education and labor that would also provide reflection on emerging and developing trends, and on where they may lead. The 2019 iteration, Higher Education Today and Tomorrow: A Critical Assessment, examined in sharper focus a number of evolving tech-based policies and practices in universities – some shaped by the need to accommodate the changing demands of the labor market – with a view to fostering a debate on the possible adverse effects of these transformations.
These two reports have now been joined in a single volume with the intention of offering member universities and the higher education community at large a wide picture of the momentous challenges currently being faced by colleges and universities across the world.
A cursory search for what qualifies faculty to teach university at undergraduate and graduate level across countries suffices to establish that this must be one of the least regulated professions in the world in terms of required skills.
This – scant – overview aims to provide a comparative glimpse at academic career paths and requirements in selected countries that span several regions across the globe. Countries reviewed below are: the United States, four European Union member states (Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain), the United Kingdom, and India).