Unbundling Higher Education

Returning to the topic of unbundling universities, this sketchnote is based on some of my notes from the Unbundling Higher Education Coursera course that I discussed here.

The analytic approaches undertaken by the research project that underpins this MOOC gives a really useful starting point for studying the unbundling of universities. The study focused on the unbundling of education as found in the USA in micro-credentials (nano-degrees and micro-masters) and credit accumulation and transfer. While in the UK, “the disaggregation of learning into smaller parts which offers, in theory at least, opportunities for Higher Education institutions to separate traditionally integrated components and reimagine new products and services.” MOOCs and micro-masters are both examples of these new products and services.

Unbundling generates the effects of greater flexibility in, and access to, higher education while also fragmenting previously well-integrated systems. This fragmentation of higher education also provides new opportunities for entry for commercial services seeking new market opportunities. Through Online Program Management companies, digital education is often perceived as enabling the commercialisation and marketisation of higher education. While Microsoft’s partnering with HEIs in supporting the development of digital skills is a further example of commercial encroachment.

Also, I’m experimenting with sketch-noting. I found the experience of reflecting on the written notes and trying to reduce and concentrate them into the image to be a useful one although the final sketch doesn’t quite work for me. So, I’ll need to keep practicing sketch-noting but I think I prefer using pen and paper rather than a stylus and an ancient iPad as I did here.

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