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Weekly Review
October 7, 2022
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From EdSurge:
The affordable institution mapped out by five MIT professors builds on the strengths of today’s institutions but is sensitive to recent trends. While there is nothing brand new in their proposal, it proposes a number of interesting ideas: encouraging faculty to adopt online course materials developed at other universities, stacking micro-credentials toward the bachelor’s degree, and offering more credit-based internships with employers. Read this article
From Time:
The Metaverse Will Reshape Our Lives. Let's Make Sure It's for the Better
By Matthew Ball
The Metaverse does not yet exist. Its vivid descriptions come from both innovators and charlatans. One might best think of it as a virtual plane atop the current digital and physical worlds, uniting both and built for live, interactive experiences involving hundreds of millions of people in three dimensions. While one can imagine its extraordinary potential for enhancing teaching, research, and outreach, it remains unclear if the future it portends is better or one simply more virtual that fails to address the hard problems of today’s digital world. Read this article

From University World News:
The merit system at universities is not fit for purpose
By Brandon O'Malley
This article argues for the importance of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to universities as a basis for shaping their roles in societal transformation. However, it criticizes the narrow view that sustainability is primarily about climate change and points out that this perspective overvalues the production of STEM graduates by universities. Instead, universities should attend to the demand for graduates in the social sciences and humanities that will be created by issues of social justice, equity, healthcare, and education that are essential for sustainable development. Read this article

From Wired:
Climate Justice Is Possible–Just Look Beyond Technology
By Gregory Barber
Re:WIRED Green, a Wired magazine conference featuring scientists, entrepreneurs, and artists tackling climate change, is unsurprisingly focused on scientific and tech solutions. More interesting, however, are perspectives from the smaller number of speakers who touched on the social and behavioral changes required to move successfully to greener energy and the important social justice issues central in such transitions. Read this article

From the AKA Archives - Chronicle of Higher Education:
An Era Of Neglect: How public colleges were crowded out, beaten up, and failed to fight back
By Karin Fischer and Jack Stripling
Although originally published almost a decade ago, this article still illustrates how a fundamental change in the funding of public higher education arose from a series of consequential unconnected actions by a wide variety of actors, many outside the academic world. The brief vignettes demonstrate how the largely unintended consequences of competing priorities, an issue that is still very much pertinent today, led to a shift from public institutions being a key national priority worthy of collective investment for the common good to an increasingly underfunded special interest.
Read this article

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