Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Shape of Education for the 21st Century

So far, I'm truly enjoying my new job with the Lyntz Knowledge Group in Seoul.  Working with a larger network of Korean and American colleagues, I'm helping to shape a new business approach to international education.   Our new business model is responsive to two major developments that are transforming education in the early years of this century.
The first of these developments is the information revolution, which features continued convergence of digital media, the rapid global spread of mobile broadband, greater use of video and, of course, social networking.  The IT revolution is changing the character and quality of education, both on-campus and off, while literally breaking down the walls of the traditional campus.
The second major development is the globalization or internationalization of education.  It is characterized by a major increase worldwide in the number of students studying abroad along with major changes in the pattern of student flows among the countries of the world.  East Asia, which has traditionally been a major source for students who study in North America and Europe, is slowly but surely becoming an important destination for study abroad.
Korea fits into this picture in a very interesting way.   South Korea possesses the world's most advanced digital networks, and a tertiary education system that is beginning to draw students from all over Asia and the rest of the world, especially from developing nations.  Its leading colleges and universities all have large numbers of U.S. educated Ph.D.s and many of those schools are aggressively expanding their English language curricula.
The potential for Korea, and for the Northeast Asia region, as an education and research hub, has yet to be realized.  However, it may come sooner than many predict.   NYU has just announced plans to establish a degree-granting campus in Shanghai.  South Korea has ambitious plans for the Global Campus in New Songdo, currently its major effort to attract international schools.
The information revolution, global mobility, and changing patterns of university-industry cooperation and innovation are some of the major factors that will transform education in this century.   This morning I read with interest that Stanford University is one of a larger group of schools that have expressed interest in establishing a campus in New York City! Read the article here.  There was a joke circulating among Stanford graduates about a certain Ivy League school being the "Stanford of the East Coast."  Now there may actually be such a school!  Why not a Stanford of Northeast Asia, situated here on the Korean peninsula between its larger neighbors and ideally positioned for East Asian studies, broadly conceived?

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