Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Higher education is one of the great successes of the welfare state.
What was once the privilege of a few has become a middle-class entitlement, thanks mainly to government support. Some 3.5m Americans and 5m Europeans will graduate this summer.
In the emerging world universities are booming: China has added nearly 30m places in 20 years. Yet the business has changed little since Aristotle taught at the Athenian Lyceum: young students still gather at an appointed time and place to listen to the wisdom of scholars.
Now a revolution has begun (see "The future of universities: The digital degree"), thanks to three forces: rising costs, changing demand and disruptive technology. The result will be the reinvention of the university.
Higher education suffers from Baumol's disease--the tendency of costs to soar in labour-intensive sectors with stagnant productivity. Whereas the prices of cars, computers and much else have fallen dramatically, universities, protected by public-sector funding and the premium employers place on degrees, have been able to charge ever more for the same service. For two decades the cost of going to college in America has risen by 1.6 percentage points more than inflation every year.
For most students university remains a great deal; by one count the boost to lifetime income from obtaining a college degree, in net-present-value terms, is as much as $590,000 (see page 74). But for an increasing number of students who have gone deep into debt--especially the 47% in America and 28% in Britain who do not complete their course--it is plainly not value for money. And the state's willingness to pick up the slack is declining. In America government funding per student fell by 27% between 2007 and 2012, while average tuition fees, adjusted for inflation, rose by 20%. In Britain tuition fees, close to zero two decades ago, can reach £9,000 ($15,000 a year).
The second driver of change is the labour market. In the standard model of higher education, people go to university in their 20s: a degree is an entry ticket to the professional classes. But automation is beginning to have the same effect on white-collar jobs as it has on blue-collar ones. According to a study from Oxford University, 47% of occupations are at risk of being automated in the next few decades. As innovation wipes out some jobs and changes others, people will need to top up their human capital throughout their lives.
By themselves, these two forces would be pushing change. A third--technology--ensures it. The internet, which has turned businesses from newspapers through music to book retailing upside down, will upend higher education. Now the MOOC, or "Massive Open Online Course", is offering students the chance to listen to star lecturers and get a degree for a fraction of the cost of attending a university.
MOOCs started in 2008; and, as often happens with disruptive technologies, they have so far failed to live up to their promise. Largely because there is no formal system of accreditation, drop-out rates have been high. But this is changing as private investors and existing universities are drawn in. One provider, Coursera, claims over 8m registered users. Though its courses are free, it bagged its first $1m in revenues last year after introducing the option to pay a fee of between $30 and $100 to have course results certified. Another, Udacity, has teamed up with AT&T and Georgia Tech to offer an online master's degree in computing, at less than a third of the cost of the traditional version. Harvard Business School will soon offer an online "pre-MBA" for $1,500. Starbucks has offered to help pay for its staff to take online degrees with Arizona State University.
MOOCs will disrupt different universities in different ways. Not all will suffer. Oxford and Harvard could benefit. Ambitious people will always want to go to the best universities to meet each other, and the digital economy tends to favour a few large operators. The big names will be able to sell their MOOCs around the world. But mediocre universities may suffer the fate of many newspapers. Were the market for higher education to perform in future as that for newspapers has done over the past decade or two, universities' revenues would fall by more than half, employment in the industry would drop by nearly 30% and more than 700 institutions would shut their doors. The rest would need to reinvent themselves to survive. Read More . . . . . . . . . .
Under the Patronage of
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council
Following in the footsteps of WEEF 2010 in Singapore and WEEF 2012 in Buenos Aries, the 2014 World Engineering Education Forum is bringing together a whole array of activities. The Forum combines a number of international engineering education conferences, and promises to be the largest ever conference on engineering education.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Postsecondary Education Outcome Measures: ED, DOD, and VA
Consistent with Executive Order 13607: Establishing Principles of Excellence and Public Law 112-249: Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans, the United States Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs, and Defense have worked together to identify outcome measures that will provide information on available educational programs to support informed decision making about educational choices, especially as they relate to Veterans and service members. This effort was guided by the following set of questions:
- What does a Veteran or service member need to know when choosing a school?
- What do agencies, congressional leaders and key stakeholders need to know about the effectiveness of educational benefit programs?
- How do Veterans and service members perform in different educational programs?
- Is there variability in outcomes across institutions for different types of students?
- How do affordability and outcomes vary across institutions?
A set of outcome measures are proposed to capture important information on students’ experiences during school, upon completion of a degree or certificate, and post-graduation using existing administrative data. An additional set of outcome measures that require additional analysis and in some cases data from additional data systems have been identified for further exploration. The following chart lists each measure, with a brief definition of the measure, the cohort or population the measure describes, and an indication of the ability to report the measure. Click on the response for NCES under Departments reporting to see an example of existing data reported at the national level. Following the chart, there is a brief discussion of several overarching measurement issues that will help you understand some of the differences in available information from each of the three Departments.
Click the plus and minus (/) symbols below to expand/collapse the table sections. read more . . . . . . . . . .
12 tech trends Higher Education
Cannot afford to ignore
Higher education faces an onslaught of disruptive forces right now—and no one should be suprised to hear that news. Burgeoning technologies such as MOOCs and mobile devices are disrupting institutional structures from the classroom and across entire campuses. As tech transforms these learning environments, universities must decide whether to resist the change or get out in front of it. To choose the latter option, however, we need to envision what universities of the future will look like—if they exist at all.
Lev Gonick, the VP for information technology services and CIO at Case Western Reserve University and CEO of OneCommunity, isn’t afraid of gazing into the proverbial crystal ball.
In his keynote address Tuesday at the Campus Technology 2013 conference in Boston, Mass., Gonick laid out his vision for the future higher ed and campus IT. Read More . . . . . . . .
Trends for 2014: Five Factors Facing Private Higher Education
The Lawlor Group conducts extensive quantitative and qualitative research for independent college and university clients throughout the United States. Based on our recent findings, along with other primary and secondary research available to the general public, we’ve identified five trends in the higher education marketplace that we predict will have a significant impact on student recruitment and enrollment efforts during the coming year. We’ve also included several questions that college enrollment and marketing administrators should be asking about their institutions to test how well they are responding to these market trends.
TREND ONE: DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY
Because of some key demographic projections, the recruitment of traditional-age college students will not get easier anytime soon.
Read More . . . . . . . . .
Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to
gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for
professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions
of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.
Accrediting agencies are organizations (or bodies) that establish operating standards for educational
or professional institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and
publicly announce their findings.
There are two basic types of educational accreditation, one identified as “institutional” and one
referred to as “specialized” or “programmatic.” Institutional accreditation normally applies to an
entire institution, indicating that each of an institution’s parts is contributing to the achievement
of the institution’s objectives, although not necessarily all at the same level of quality.
Specialized accreditation normally applies to the evaluation of programs , departments, or schools
which usually are parts of a total collegiate or other postsecondary institution. The unit accredited
may be as large as a college or school within a university or as small as a curriculum within a
discipline. Most of the specialized accrediting agencies review units within a postsecondary institution
which is accredited by one of the regional accrediting commissions. However, certain of the specialized
accrediting agencies accredit professional schools and other specialized or vocational or other
postsecondary institutions which are free-standing in their operations. Thus, a "specialized" or
"programmatic" accrediting agency may also function in the capacity of an "institutional" accrediting
agency. In addition, a number of specialized accrediting agencies accredit educational
programs within non-educational settings, such as