IT in Higher Education-Possibilities and Prospects in an Era of Economic Crisis

IT in Higher Education-Possibilities and Prospects in an Era of Economic Crisis

Amir Manzoor (Bahria University, Pakistan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9455-2.ch007
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Abstract

A 21st Century Classroom is a learning environment that incorporates current critical thinking, problem solving, communication, and collaboration skills into traditional core knowledge instruction. Fostering this space will enable students to integrate core subjects and lead to a deeper understanding of global awareness and greater economic, civic, health and environmental literacy. Skeptics have argued that transforming higher education, especially to attenuate its cost is something, which we know, but we cannot get it. However, information technology is a way to achieve this required transformation. This chapter explores explore how information technology might help achieve this transformation to advance higher education, and its prospects for success.
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2. Higher Education

As of 2011, the latest figures available in 2014, the US has a total of 4,599 Title IV-eligible, degree-granting institutions: 2,870 4-year institutions and 1,729 2-year institutions (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). The US had 21 million students in higher education, roughly 5.7% of the total population. About 13 million of these students were enrolled full-time which was 81,000 students lower than 2010 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2013). In 2009, 21.3% of the adult population above 18 years had attended college, but had no degree, 7.5% held an associate's degree, 17.6% held a bachelor's degree, and 10.3% held a graduate or professional degree. The historical gender gap had practically vanished. New England and Colorado had the highest proportion of college graduates, and the South Central states the lowest (Census Beureau, 2012). In 2011, 76.4% of people aged 25-54 in the EU-27 had at least an upper secondary education level, compared to 57.3% of those aged 55-74. Those who had high educational attainment amounted respectively 28.8% and 17.6%. Just over one third (34.6%) of the population aged 30 to 34 in the EU-27 had a tertiary education in 2011 (Eurostat, 2013).

Before exploring IT and its potential roles in higher education, this chapter will take a look at some key demographic facts about higher education. By 2012, there were around 13 million students studying in European universities. In USA, the largest group of students was in 2-year colleges (Sedghi & Allen, 2012).

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