Launch of The Higher Education Task Force Report

Wednesday, March 1, 2000 Omni Shoreham Hotel, Regency Ballroom, Washington, D.C.

Adriaan Verspoor, Education Lead Specialist in the Africa Region

I read the report quickly I must admit. There is one area of disappointment that I had. I was hoping the team could elaborate on this: and that's the discrepancy between the images that Jamil presented us in the beginning of very rapidly changing system of higher education. The traditional model of buildings and restaurants and dormitories, everything we know of as higher education is very rapidly changing. And reading this report I don't get the sense of that.

I don't get the sense that this report is guiding us towards that future. I don't get the sense of a message to African universities, to African higher education policy-makers which says: colleagues, the world is changing, colleagues, there are possibilities to provide education in many different ways. This can also be stressed, which can help you deal with a number of problems of access to knowledge, of expanding coverage of system and so on.

And I'm wondering, is this a deliberate position that Professor Rosovsky is conveying to us that higher education must be based on interaction between people, and if it's not there (I don't go that far earlier) it is no longer higher education? Or is this something else?