British universities have world-class reputations and
they are vital to our social and economic future. But they
are in a tight spot. The huge public investment that
sustained much of the sector is in jeopardy and the
current way of working is not sustainable. Some are
predicting the end of the university as we have known it.
The Edgeless University argues that this can be a
moment of rebirth for universities. Technology is
changing universities as they become just one source
among many for ideas, knowledge and innovation. But
online tools and open access also offer the means for
their survival. Their expertise and value is needed more
than ever to validate and support learning and research.
Through their institutional capital, universities can use
technology to offer more flexible provision and open
more equal routes to higher education and learning.
We need the learning and research that higher
education provides. But this will take strategic leadership
from within, new connections with a growing world of
informal learning and a commitment to openness and
collaboration. By exploiting this role, universities can
harness technology as a solution and an indispensable
tool for shaping their vital role in the future.