Higher Education as a Gift and as a Commons

Author : Andreas Wittel

This paper takes as a starting point Lewis Hyde’s (2007, xvi) assertion that art is a gift and not a commodity: “Works of art exist simultaneously in two ‘economies’, a market economy and a gift economy.

Only one of these is essential, however: a work of art can survive without a market, but where there is no gift there is no art.” I want to argue that the same claim should be made for those aspects of academic labour that refer to teaching and education. Education can survive without a market, but where there is no gift there is no education.

However the gift that is part of all educational processes gets rather obscured in regimes where higher education is either a public good or a private good. In regimes of higher education as public good the gift gets obscured by the provision of a service by the state. In regimes of higher education as a private good (e.g. higher education in the UK) the gift gets even more obscured, obviously so.

It is only in a third educational regime, where education is a common good (e.g. the recent rise of the free universities), that the gift character of education can properly shine. Whilst this should be celebrated, the notion of a higher education commons poses some severe challenges.

The paper ends with an examination of possibilities of academic activists to rescue or even strengthen the gift-like character of education.

URL : Higher Education as a Gift and as a Commons

Alternative location : http://www.triple-c.at/index.php/tripleC/article/view/892

Méta-usages du numérique chez le manager : Nouveaux enjeux pour les formations dans l’enseignement supérieur

Auteur : Bertrand Mocquet, Soufiane Rouissi

Convaincus du rôle des universités dans le développement futur des organisations, nous porterons notre regard dans cet article sur les nouveaux enjeux de formation dans l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (ESR) pour prendre en compte la transformation numérique qui s’opère dans la société.

Nous constatons deux mouvements combinés sur les usages du numérique dans les organisations publiques ou privées : l’aisance des usagers des services numériques des organisations et l’apparition de nouveaux managers qui disposent de compétences qui témoignent d’usages personnels et avérés du numérique.

Dans un contexte de transformation numérique, nous nous interrogerons sur les nouvelles compétences dont doivent disposer les managers pour permettre à leur organisation de réussir ce changement.

En nous appuyant sur les travaux de Serge Proulx autour des usages du numérique, nous établirons une proposition de concept, celui de méta-usage du numérique. Notre recherche prend également appui sur une enquête auprès de managers à partir d’un échantillon de type volontaire et nous tenterons de démontrer qu’il est possible de construire de nouvelles formations à partir de l’énoncé de ce concept.

URL : http://journals.openedition.org/terminal/1644


Mobilizing Curriculum Studies in a Virtual World Open…

Mobilizing Curriculum Studies in a (Virtual) World: Open Access, Edupunks, and the Public Good :

« Despite societal imperatives for equity—whether espoused by nation states or transnational agencies like UNESCO—current models of higher education are unequivocally failing to provide universal access. This paper seeks to explore the (cyber)spaces (un)occupied by higher education, specifically in the area of curriculum studies, arguing that the World Wide Web can be used to effect the democratization of education. Further, it argues for the benefits of Open Access research by means of a small-scale empirical study, the results of which indicate that making research openly accessible does not diminish the impact of research, but rather may actually increase it. »

URL : http://ojs.vre.upei.ca/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/1149

Information access needs of satellite ca…

Information access needs of satellite campuses in Kenya – Can OER close the gap? The Case of Moi University Nairobi Campus :

« This case study was aimed at obtaining the experiences of faculty and students of Moi University, Nairobi Campus in accessing information resources for teaching, learning and research. The study examined background information regarding knowledge societies and the role of higher education in society. This was done with a view to exploring the potential of Open Educational Resources in enhancing access to teaching, learning and research information resources at the campus. The literature review focused on the concept of Open Educational Resources (OER) and provided a critical examination of access to knowledge and learning materials in higher education. Evidently, little empirical studies have been conducted in Africa concerning OER. The Communities of Practice theory was adopted to inform the study with regard to learning experiences and their realization in communities. Online questionnaires and interviews were the principle data collection instruments. These were administered upon faculty, students and the librarian of Moi University, Nairobi campus. Furthermore, data was also gathered through interviews with OER experts from North America, Europe, and Africa. These experts provided vital information on the potential of OER in enhancing access to teaching, learning and research information resources to institutions such as the case for this study. The findings of the study revealed that the concept of OER was not clearly understood by the respondents and interviewees from the case institution. Respondents confused the concept of OER with other concepts like e-learning. Nevertheless, they signaled appreciation for access to open resources. In addition, it was evident that the faculty and students of this institution had insufficient access to resources. The library was not sufficiently stocked with information materials and facilities to cater for the growing population of the campus. The study recommends the adoption of more open educational practices through the creation of electronic institutional repositories that are open and searchable. Furthermore, the study suggests greater collaboration and sharing of resources and teaching practices among faculty within the campus and beyond. To achieve this, both faculty and students require information literacy skills. Finally, the study recommends that the librarians and information professionals be more proactive in identifying and bringing awareness to clients about available and relevant open resources. »

URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/15384