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Global Higher Education and VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity

Global Higher Education and VUCA – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity
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Author(s): Pamela A. Lemoine (University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA), P. Thomas Hackett (Columbus State University, USA) and Michael D. Richardson (Columbus State University, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 20
Source title: Handbook of Research on Administration, Policy, and Leadership in Higher Education
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Siran Mukerji (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India) and Purnendu Tripathi (Indira Gandhi National Open University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0672-0.ch022


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VUCA describes today's chaotic, turbulent, and rapidly changing education environment, which is the new educational normal. VUCA; volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, terms coined for the military world also describes today's education world. As a result, educational leaders face the uncertainty of workforce reductions and budget cuts affecting the process of increasing student performance. In addition, rapid changes in technology are constant and ambiguity reigns as mandates for change increase In today's education world VUCA, the chaotic “new normal” is real. The financial crisis of 2008-2009, for example, rendered many businesses obsolete, and organizations throughout the world were plunged into turbulent economic environments. At the same time, rapid changes marched forward as technological developments like social media exploded, the world's population continued to simultaneously grow and age, and global disasters disrupted lives, economies, and businesses. In the new normal, higher education institutions are caught in a critically demanding and increasing unknown present and future characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.

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