Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the Pending Transformation of Higher Education

From "College Crackup and the Online Future," by Mark C. Taylor, chairman of the department of religion at Columbia University, writing for Bloomberg:

"There is a widening gap between the rate at which knowledge is expanding and the rate at which colleges and universities change. In higher education, as in business, institutions must become more flexible and agile. Colleges and universities that can’t adapt will fail. Departments will either be eliminated or redesigned in ways that support more extensive collaboration among faculty members and students working in different areas. 

These changes will meet considerable resistance, but they are unavoidable and will have beneficial results. In all areas of endeavor, innovation comes about by bringing together what is usually held apart. Just as artistic creativity often occurs by mixing different genres, so intellectual innovation frequently results from crossing different disciplines.

With growing competition abroad and increasing financial problems at home, the worldwide pre-eminence of U.S. higher education isn’t assured in the 21st century. Even if it were possible to increase funding in this era of shortsighted austerity, it wouldn’t be enough. A fundamental transformation in higher education will require a thorough rethinking of both what and how we teach.

Colleges and universities will have to be reorganized and create new strategies for cooperation and collaboration that will enable them to provide the best education to the most students for the lowest price. If we have the imagination and determination to rise to this challenge, we will be able to provide the education our children and grandchildren deserve and the world needs."

5 Comments:

At 5/22/2012 10:48 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Colleges and universities will have to be reorganized and create new strategies for cooperation and collaboration that will enable them to provide the best education
But they are already doing that. The trend of increasing "professionals" at Ann Arbor, is aimed at that ;) New strategies focused on research and collaboration with companies.

that will enable them to provide the best education to the most students for the lowest price.
This, I disagree with.

More, VALUE, for the lowest price, yes. But US institutions have been doing that. Eg, Ann Arbor ;)

 
At 5/23/2012 2:53 AM, Blogger Emily said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 5/23/2012 8:10 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

" Even if it were possible to increase funding in this era of shortsighted austerity"

First, I have yet to read of real austerity at any public or private institution of learning. But if it comes, it will be the exdact opposite of shortsightedness.

 
At 5/23/2012 8:15 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

"provide the best education to the most students for the lowest price"

That doesn't say much to me.

"Best education" will likely mean something different to an academic than it will to a potential employer.

"Lowest price" would make sense if he meant the lowest price that a free market would bear. But I'm not sure that's what he means.

"Most students" is likely what a university would want. But I don't think a college education is the best option for even half the kids graduating from high school.

 
At 5/23/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Bubblenomics.

 

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