The new information and communication technologies are contributing to significant cultural transformations, linked to the “information technology culture”, such as the alteration of the basic concepts of time and space. The notion of reality coexists with the possibility of creating “virtual realities”, which creates new challenges for higher education.
To conclude this point, allow me to enumerate what the analysts call “the mega-trends of contemporary society“, which influence in some way higher education.
- A computerized society is replacing the old industrial society
- “Intelligent” technologies replace the traditional ones.
- “Proactive” societies, with an anticipatory attitude, contrast the essentially “reactionary” societies.
- Globalized national economies, or in the process to be, take the place of national economies.
- Democratic systems, every time more participative turn obsolete the ones merely representative, and even more the authoritarian, as we can see on the Arab world.
- In social development, we are going from strategic short-term views, to long term state policies.
- In public administration, the decentralized managements systems are being promoted.
- Commercial, financial and industrial institutions are moving from traditional vertical hierarchies to organizational networks, with more horizontal structures.
- In the basic social organization, the woman is playing every time a major role.