The Economist: 3 Trends That Will Revolutionize Higher Education

The Economist believes it, so now it must be official:  higher education will be transformed in the coming decades.  Their Business Insider blog talentattributes this revolution to three trends:

On one front, a funding crisis has created a shortfall that the universities’ brightest brains are struggling to solve. Institutions’ costs are rising, owing to pricey investments in technology, teachers’ salaries and galloping administrative costs. . . .

At the same time, a technological revolution is challenging higher education’s business model. An explosion in online learning, much of it free, means that the knowledge once imparted to a lucky few has been released to anyone with a smartphone or laptop.

These financial and technological disruptions coincide with a third great change: whereas universities used to educate only a tiny elite, they are now responsible for training and retraining workers throughout their careers. How will they survive this storm — and what will emerge in their place if they don’t?

The question of what will emerge is fascinating.  For over 100 years, public colleges and universities have taken private schools as their model.  But, as the privates cater to an ever narrowing elite and the publics are under greater pressure to expand their offerings and serve a diverse set of learning styles and experiences, the two models may diverge, to the possible advantage of students at public colleges and universities.
You can read the full article here.

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