A Higher Calling for Higher Education: Cristina Escrigas
Over the past few decades there has been a massive increase in post-secondary, higher education institutes (HEIs). This has been driven largely in the expectation of national and, for students, personal economic gain and prestige. But could there more to higher education, much more? Christina Escrigas believes passionately that there is: she reminds us that HEIs have a higher calling towards the common good; to the benefit and meaning of humanity, now and into the future.
She believes that this higher calling has been greatly diminished as HEIs have adopted business lines that primarily serve national and personal interests. And she contends that this situation must change: HEIs need to recover their higher calling if they are to be a leading agent in the great transitions emerging in our global society in the 21st century.
She has produced a scholarly article of remarkable depth and breadth. She first considers the “World Context” where she overviews recent massive changes in our society and our two major and unresolved challenges “coexistence with nature and coexistence with each other”.
She then provides an analysis “Recent Trends in Higher Education” of why and how HEIs have been diverted from their higher purpose. This is followed by sections on “Rethinking Mission”, “A Repurposed Curriculum” and “Transformative Knowledge for Social Change” as a guide to how HEIs could regain the ‘higher’ of ‘higher education”.
In her concluding section “Towards a GT (Great Transition) University” she re-emphasises the critical need for truly “higher education” institutes to meet the challenging times of our 21st century. The only caveat this reviewer might have is whether change will be initiated from within or without the HEIs https://www.greattransition.org/commentary/neville-bruce-higher-education-cristina-escrigas
Overall, this is a seminal paper for all interested in the future of HEIs and essential reading for all involved in EWF; a great contribution to the Great Transition Initiative https://www.greattransition.org/