Essay heading: A Vision For 20 Years: The Learning Society

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June 19, 1997






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But over the next two decades, higher education will face challenges as well as opportunities. The effectiveness of its response will determine its future. 4. That future will require higher education in the UK to: o encourage and enable all students - whether they demonstrate the highest intellectual potential or whether they have struggled to reach the threshold of higher education - to achieve beyond their expectations; o safeguard the rigour of its awards, ensuring that UK qualifications meet the needs of UK students and have standing throughout the world; o be at the leading edge of world practice in effective learning and teaching; o undertake research that matches the best in the world, and make its benefits available to the nation; o ensure that its support for regional and local communities is at least comparable to that provided by higher education in competitor nations; o sustain a culture which demands disciplined thinking, encourages curiosity, challenges existing ideas and generates new ones; o be part of the conscience of a democratic society, founded on respect for the rights of the individual and the responsibilities of the individual to society as a whole; o be explicit and clear in how it goes about its business, be accountable to students and to society, and seek continuously to improve its own performance...
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To achieve this, higher education will depend on: o professional, committed members of staff who are appropriately trained, respected and rewarded; o a diverse range of autonomous, well-managed institutions with a commitment to excellence in the achievement of their distinctive missions. 6. The higher education sector will comprise a community of free-standing institutions dedicated to the creation of a learning society and the pursuit of excellence in their diverse missions...
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