Integral Review

A Transdisciplinary and Transcultural Journal For New Thought, Research, and Praxis

Posts Tagged ‘knotworking’

Toward Integral Higher Education Study Programs in the European Higher Education Area: A Programmatic and Strategic View

Markus Molz

Abstract: This essay somehow arbitrarily freezes my ongoing attempt to grasp the present situation and future possibilities of higher education courses, programs, institutions and initiatives that are inspired by integral and likeminded approaches. The focus in this essay is on the European Higher Education Area and its specifics, whereas some implicit or explicit comparisons with the USA are made. My reflections are triggered by the recurrent observation that in Europe there seems to be i) more demand than offer of integrally oriented higher education programs, ii) an imbalance between overused but little successful and underused but potentially more promising strategies to implement such programs, iii) little or no learning from past failures, and iv) little mutual awareness, communication and collaboration between different activists and initiatives in this field. The context for this essay is i) the current societal macroshift, ii) the unfolding of academic level integral and likeminded research worldwide, and iii) the large scale reform of the European Higher Education systems brought about by the Bologna process, its (false) promises and the potential it nevertheless has for realizing examples of a more integral higher education. On this basis the consequences for attempts to overcome a relatively stagnant state of affairs in Europe are discussed. Given that; most past attempts to implement programs inspired by an integral worldview have failed from the start, or disappeared after a relatively short period, or are marginalised or becoming remainstreamed, this essay aims to devise a potentially more promising strategic corridor and describes the contours of the results that could be brought about when following a developmental trajectory within this corridor. This futurising exercise is inspired by principles shared by many integral and likeminded approaches, especially the reconsideration, integration and transcendence of premodern, modern and postmodern structures and practices of higher education.
This essay is programmatic and thus deliberately combines facts and values, past and future, summaries of first person observations and third person factual information, without the burden of systematic referencing required by scholarly writing. It does not claim to replace empirical surveys which, however, are still lacking to date regarding the actual state of affairs of higher education inspired by integral and likeminded approaches in Europe. Accordingly, at this stage, the essay is an exercise of awareness-raising to stimulate more and better collaboration across streams, disciplines and countries between those scholars, students and activists who are already inspired by integral and likeminded approaches and interested or already engaged in developing and sustaining higher education programs according to a more integral spirit.

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