This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Rethinking Higher Education for the 21th century: a cyber-systemic contribution

Guest editor

Alfonso Reyes, [email protected],
Dean of the Engineering School at Universidad de los Andes, Colombia.


This special issue is about the cyber-systemic contribution to rethinking Higher Education for the 21th century.

This special issue focusses on examining from a cyber-systemic stance the role of higher education in today´s fragmented and post-fact world. Specifically, it addresses the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of today´s Higher Education System?
  2. What is the main role of the teacher in that system?
  3. What are the most suitable learning methodologies?
  4. What is an appropriate use of technology in Higher Education?
  5. What is the relevance of research in Universities?
  6. What should be the organizational structure of universities in this century?
  7. How can we have a free and still viable Higher Education System?
  8. How can we avoid fragmentation and overspecialization in curricula?

A deep re-examination of the purpose of Higher Education (HE) is a current issue of concern. For instance, it should focus on character development or on career development? (Escotet, Miguel Angel, “University Trends, Missions and Policies: Looking Ahead” (1993), Paris: UNESCO”); How important are the humanities in today’s Higher Education? (Nussbaum Martha (2010), “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities”, Princeton University Press).

From a pedagogical stance rethinking the role of the teacher and the development of active-learning methodologies is crucial (Rutherford, Paula (2012), “Active Learning and Engagement Strategies: Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century”; Wright, Dana (2015), “Active Learning: Social Justice Education and Participatory Action Research”, London: Routledge).

On the other hand, and taking into consideration recent developments, what is an appropriate use of technology in HE? (Curtis, J. et al (Ed), (2015), “MOOCs and Open Education Around the World”, London: Routledge).

Current rankings in HE is putting under stress the usually balanced relation between lecturing and researching. What is the actual relevance of research in Universities? (Beckman, Mary and Long, Joyce (Ed), (2016), “Community Based Research: Teaching for Community Impact”, Sterling: Stylus).

Specific topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Disruptive pedagogies and technologies in Higher Education (HE)
  • Alternatives for Re-structuring HE
  • Community Based Research in HE
  • Social Responsibility of Universities
  • New organizational forms and experiences for HE at the local, regional and global levels.    

Submission Procedure:

Submissions to this journal are through the ScholarOne submission system here:

Please visit the author guidelines for the journal which gives full details. Please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process.

Submission Deadline:

Submission deadline: April 2018
Papers reviewed: July 2018
Revised papers reviewed and accepted: October 2018
Final versions of accepted papers delivered: November 2018