Guest Editorial: applying systems thinking to higher education

Ison, Ray (1999). Guest Editorial: applying systems thinking to higher education. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 16(2) pp. 107–112.



Higher education (HE) around the world is undergoing transition. But what type of thinking is governing this change? Will the change be more of the same – predominantly first order change - or will the sector be managed in such a way as to create whole system change - second order change? Or alternatively, will secondorder
change occur as the result of technological forces and ex post accommodations to these? These were some of the questions facing participants at a one day seminar in July 1997 called "Applying Systems Thinking to Higher Education" hosted by the Systems Discipline at the Open University (OU) in the UK. The seminar took advantage of the coming together of international systems thinkers and practitioners for the UK Systems Society Biennial Conference (Stowell et al 1997). Presentations were made from systems thinkers and practitioners responsible for, or involved in, creative and innovative systemic approaches to teaching, researching and managing HE in the US, Australia, UK, South Africa and India amongst others.

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