Research Directions 
     All areas of education, particularly for higher and further education in a global context, provide unlimited directions for research.  Much has yet to be learned about global trends in education.  While research is limited, the consensus is that the shifts in higher education will have profound implications at all levels.  The social scientists engaged in furthering globalization studies, transnational and international relations, have yet to approach higher educational studies in their research.  The same, scholars in higher education have yet to advance quality research and studies to fully understand the implications of the global trends and the restructuring of higher education from the national and international economic, political and social currents with globalism.
1  Many national governments are still attempting to discover and undertake effective means for the management of higher and postsecondary education in the context of the economic, political and social pressures upon domestic institutions. 2  Generally, further education is recognized as a necessary agent of change in need of change given the structural changes and international challenges of the twentieth-first century.
     Some countries have looked to the American community college as an institution that could serve as a model for both vocational educational needs and as an agent for opening access to higher education.  While there are concerns over importing U.S. policy and recognized problems with the community college system in the United States, it is a flexible system with both academic and vocational appeal. 3  From an investigation into the Australian system that is currently being implemented, further research from the context of Australian education suggests purpose for expanding a comparative and collaborative analysis between VET, AQF and American community colleges to provide dialogue on the positive and negative of each.  A dialogue between the two systems would reveal insights into integrating fragmented educational systems while providing a means for bridging gaps between secondary and higher education.  Democratic ideals and mobility through education has also been noted as among the strengths of the American community college system.  At this point, it is also relevant to expand knowledge of the way in which trends have challenged “shared governance” in institutions, with purpose for responsibly promoting and sustaining shared governance. 
     Educational organizations and organizations that promote good governance have addressed concerns over changes in the management of postsecondary learning for reason that there appears to be a steering away from “shared governance” with alienation of faculty and administrators in decision-making.  The American Federation of Teachers and the National Educational Association in the United States has emphasized purpose for democratic shared governance in higher education, affirming the tradition of governance set by the American Association of University Professors. 4 The National Education Association has expressed particular concern for American community colleges. Technical and vocational programs internationally are at risk to "top-down" leverages and controls (for example, note the case of South Africa). 5 Where learning mobility and democratic education are part of the appeal of community colleges, and where issues need be addressed in postsecondary learning, a research agenda should appropriately address similar concerns for technical and vocational education in an international political and economic context.  
    The Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee has addressed issues for higher education just as the Association of Governing Boards addressed them for postsecondary learning in the US. 6 Expanding knowledge of the changes in higher education cannot be independent of research on the implications for technical and vocational education.  Accordingly, where Australia has begun to implement an inventive system that attempts to provide national solutions to postsecondary education, comparative study with the U.S. model for the community college is purposeful and relevant.  Similar insights could result from a dialogue between AQF and the Carnegie system of classification in the United States.  Much would be gained with further comparative studies in general and research into organizational solutions to global challenges.  



References

1 For example, see Altbach, P.G. (1991). "Impact and Adjustment:  
Foreign Students in Comparative Perspective." Higher Education
Vol. 21, No. 3.
2 Morgan, W.J. (2000). "Community Colleges in the United States:
are they a model for Britain?" International Journal of Lifelong 
Education
, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 225-235.
3 Ibid.
4 Wikipedia. "Higher Education: University Governance," Retrieved
March 5, 2007, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_Education:_
University_Governance
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.

  

 

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