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Contribution to Book
The increasing expectation of relevance for higher education and the academic profession: Some reflections on the case of Mexico
Key challenges to the academic profession (2007)
  • Jesús F. Galaz-Fontes
  • Laura E. Padilla-González
  • Manuel Gil-Antón
Abstract

Developments in the global context and in national conditions have stimulated a re-examination of higher education relevance in the context of the increasing role of knowledge in the economic and social life of nations. In general, and such is the case also for Mexico, there are increasing expectations regarding higher education potential contribution to society. In this essay we discuss, in the context of the recent evolution of Mexican higher education, the drivers that are elevating the relevance expectations that Mexicans have of higher education. After that, we elaborate how higher education growth dynamics and the increasing social expectations regarding higher education have affected the role of the academic profession, and discuss four challenges that should be confronted in order for faculty to be able to enrich higher education relevance. The four challenges that the Mexican academic profession need to confront are (1) its continuing professionalization, taking care not to confound degrees with competences; (2) the improvement of its working conditions, in particular the re-structuring of its salary levels and income sources; (3) the structuring of a true academic career, and (4) the construction of a national academic labor market. The paper ends with a reminder of the central role that faculty will play in reinforcing the social relevance of higher education.

Keywords
  • Higher education,
  • Social relevance,
  • Academics,
  • Citizenship,
  • Academic work
Publication Date
2007
Editor
Maurice Kogan and Ulrich Teichler
Publisher
UNESCO and International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel, INCHER-Kassel
Series
UNESCO Forum on Higher Education Research and Knowledge
ISBN
978-3-934377-59-2
Citation Information
Jesús F. Galaz-Fontes, Laura E. Padilla-González and Manuel Gil-Antón. "The increasing expectation of relevance for higher education and the academic profession: Some reflections on the case of Mexico" 1st.Paris and KasselKey challenges to the academic profession Vol. 65 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/galazfontes/19/