There are changes happening within the higher education system all the time and they happen all over the globe. It used to be that one or two universities would pioneer an idea, and if it worked then other people would copy it. In America, many educational institutions would copy the pioneer examples of the British. But as America became less hostile toward Europe, they started to adopt a few European (and beyond) ideas, and Europe started to use a few American ideas, too.
Adjusting old academic structures is perpetual
Old academic structures are always being changed and adjusted in order to remain relevant to the society of today. In addition to the old academic structures (diploma, essays, dissertations), it is the job of many institutions to establish the new modularized forms (Bachelors and Masters). The previously unexplored effects of these varying forms of higher education in the development of the professionalism of students is often the focus of a lot of higher education investigation and study.
What current research is telling us
The current state of research suggests there is little reliable empirical evidence as to what extent that academic higher education influences the development of the professional competence of students. These issues are gaining particular relevance, since the effects of the “exit” model (degree) and the still-new Bachelor-Master model are sufficiently known. The overall goal is to strive for a systematic comparison of the diploma and BA-MA model in terms of their effects on the expression and development of the professional competence of students.
What the Europeans are doing
Although the world of higher education is in transition, the responsible actors look almost exclusively at structural and budget issues, evaluation and accountability issues. They put the cart before the horse by putting administration first at the expense of dealing with the curriculum and the teaching content of our universities, which should precede administrative issues.
To combat struggles between administration and education, some universities are teaching skill sets to students. Even on professional, career-oriented degree programs, you will find useful skill complements being taught within the course. This is not to ignore the fact that these institutions continue to dispense knowledge and grant qualifications. It is just part of re-focusing universities into education, and hopefully helps to move away from a strict and restrictive curriculum that is set by accountants instead of teachers.
More universities are investing in digital
In recent years many universities have made large investments in digital teaching and learning materials, learning management systems, virtual laboratories, or recorded lectures. The success rate has frequently been unsatisfactory. Either the universities have not been able to gain a reasonable ROI on their digital media, or it has failed to correctly integrate into the institution.
In a study on the media use habits of students, it was found that the students primarily use external sources on the Internet, such as Google Web search, external e-mail accounts, Wikipedia, and online dictionaries.
Intra-university offers media services that are becoming more popular, such as print and electronic textbooks, as well as general IT and information services such as campus wireless, online library catalogs, etc.
The platforms that seem to have the highest failure rates are things that students need to add to themselves, such as university blogs, wikis, virtual teaching, and interactive learning software. It is clear, therefore, that social media for self-directed learning and the traditional, more externally-controlled “teaching” culture on college campuses cannot readily be reconciled with each other. The continued integration of digital textbooks and IT services, however, should lead to further innovations in the same fields in the future, such as tablet devices instead of textbooks.