Demographic Shifts and Higher Education: Responses and Strategies
Authors: Jacek Klich
Abstract: Demographic shifts in a vast majority of EU countries affect universities in a rather negative way. The aim of the paper is to identify universities’ responses to these demographic challenges. Desk-top analysis of available literature combined with the analysis of responses of fourteen top European and American universities to demographic changes is presented here. The paper starts from a review of the literature on the university’s strategies in the context of demographic shifts (based on ScienceDirect and EBSCO databases). Then strategies of the fourteen universities at hand are presented. It is shown here that these strategies have not acknowledged demographic changes as strategic factors. Universities at hand as global players (with the exception of Charles University and Eötvös Loránd University) do not consider ageing as a phenomenon which could jeopardize their future. They consider further international expansion and lifelong education as adequate responses to demographic shifts. It is suggested in this paper that ageing populations can be perceived by universities as an opportunity in respect both to research and teaching.
Keywords: Demographic Changes, Universities, Strategies
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