Arthur has a Ph.D. and is a substitute teacher in Virginia Public Schools. He is also a Technology Leader and an Educational Consultant.
An Analysis of the New Higher Education Professionals
There are many challenges depending on the institutions and their areas of expertise. During this study, we can see that it is clear that some professionals feel that the older generation was more involved with bounded groups than their younger peers. Many of the respondents in this study felt frustrated because they felt within the realm of a fixed group. The issue with bounded groups is they are not as productive as bounded learning communities are not spontaneous. An example of this is that BLCs are groups that rely on guidance from instructors supported by a cumulative resource base. Ooro's research states verified the frustration of these participants by stating, "Several respondents revealed frustration at feeling confined within their roles, and these fell within the bounded group. It was clear that institutions were keen on recruiting individuals who had third space qualifications. They recruited professionals who had experience in sectors outside the university framework, such as fundraising since 58 Interdisciplinary Studies Journal – Vol 2, Number 3, 2013 © Laurea University of Applied Sciences they felt would be quite advantageous to them." (Ooro, 2013). These respondents felt that they were defined in their roles and did not have the same opportunities as those hired with other experiences outside of the framework of education.
Ooro's paper aimed to explore the world of third space from the eyes of stakeholders interested in academics and how these new borderless professionals were creating challenges that affected the staff. We can see that most of the respondents felt that they were at a disadvantage and could not be successful in this type of environment.
Most of the respondents didn't realize that being involved in an environment that uses professionals experienced in other areas such as fundraising is a plus for an institution because financial disparities and globalization are a vital part of success for educational facilities.
Ooro states, "For third space initiatives to be successful, institutions need to set up human resource structures that will facilitate the creation of a thriving environment not only for third space but all categories within the higher education system" (Ooro, 2013). As the respondents, who are mostly staff members, discover that they are themselves also involved in third space activities, it helps higher education because it allows immigrants who are professionals who have worked in developed countries to add their expertise and create opportunities that are beneficial for success in higher education.
Third space is essential in higher education because these professionals who are versed in more than one area and have experience can work in many different roles that are important to higher education. Theoretically, the third space describes the new aged professional that did not exist in higher education, allowing for more diversity and more versatile educational professionals.
When considering the effectiveness of third space, we can look at Ooro's research that shows how this process can be used to learn through others' lessons to assist with developing higher education. Ooro states, "Because this phenomenon is at its embryonic stage in developing countries and specifically Kenya, the author has decided to analyze the evolution of the third space in the United Kingdom to identify the lessons that can be learned through the successes, challenges, and the ongoing developments within this field." (Ooro, 2013).
In higher education, change is an integral part of its development. According to Ooro, "Change is nonetheless inevitable, and Whitchurch (2004) states that the roles and characteristics of administrative managers in the UK have changed due to the institutional responses to the adjustments in the HE environment (Whitchurch, 2004, p. 280)." (Ooro, 2013). Let's look at higher education as a global business. We can then see why higher education must diversify and use third space strategies and incorporate them into the higher education and university frameworks. In this paper, the communication between the staff members and administrative was not effectively understood and caused the staff that acted as respondents to feel that they were stuck in a framework that would eventually cause them to fail.
I agree with Ooro's findings because the elements of experience, different views, and opinions globally improve how higher education understands how it can be successful. According to Ooro, "This is indeed a monumental task that presents challenges because of the dynamism involved and the fact that adaptation is a process in and by itself. It is, however, not impossible." (Ooro, 2013). If higher education can get the buy-in of its staff to incorporate the concept of third space, the staff members would not see this as a confinement process but as a process that will open their minds to using the experience of globalization as a means to improve its current state.
© 2022 Dr Arthur Burton