Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Changes in HE Since 2016

In November 2016 I completed my last major piece of study (an MEd in digital education).  Much has changed in higher education since then. The major change, is that most university students are now studying primarily online. That change was not a surprise, but how it came about, in a pandemic was (although I had been teaching how to deal with them using the Internet). What had seemed more likely was a regional military confrontation which forced international students online (unfortunately something which could still occur). 

What perhaps is more surprising than students moving online is that the Australian government policy had little to do with this. An example is that Senator Simon Birmingham, then Federal Minister for Education and Training, announcing a review of regional, rural and remote education in March 2017. The review, resulted in little change, with regional, and rural students continuing to have less access to university than their city counterparts. But around this time I realized we were at the E-Learning Tipping Point, not  due to government policy, but because the students had moved online and universities were following them. The  University of Queensland,  Australian National University, University of Adelaide and Curtin University started offering 25% credit towards masters programs for completing an on-line edX "Micromasters". These did not prove to be as popular as their promoters thought, but were an indication of what was to come.

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