Higher education: Connecting with everyday life

Academic research institutions generally value specialization and depth. There is an inherent paradox in this for higher education: While the legacies and knowledge fields in academic work are long-term and based on insights accumulated over long periods of time and through peer critique, society also demands knowledge with a faster turn-over. Work-life evolves at a faster pace than what academic programs are designed to reflect. Critique of higher education is often raised on this basis, and some times implicitly without acknowledging the mandate in higher education to maintain and cultivate the “long perspective”. How we define courses and programs in higher education does not necessarily reflect the more immediate needs of work life and neither should it. Higher education is nevertheless obligated to cultivate other alternatives than degree-awarding courses and insights. How we do this and how we share our ideas as well as experiences, is the key challenge in the Future Learning Lab research collaboratory. Registered and actively contributing members have access to the collaboratory.