This chapter "sets the stage" for the substantive chapters in this book. It describes the meta
forces shaping the who, what and how higher education institutions can continue to be relevant
and responsive in a rapidly changing world. Demographic shifts, accelerating technological
change and the forces of globalization are creating significant pressures on higher education
institutions to provide accessible and inclusive education across the lifespan. The essays in this
volume provide clues to how institutions of higher learning can engage these new imperatives.