Monday, August 12, 2013

Finding Hope for the Future of Higher Education...

Thomas Frey offers two recent posts at that I encourage others to read.  The first is from July 5, 2013, By 2030 over 50% of Colleges will Collapse, and this initial post stands apart from the articles with a similar theme that I've been reading the past year.  Frey sets the stage by quantifying what he calls driving forces before arguing that eight core issues will confront institutions...and, over 50% will fail.

While it is a bit weird to say that I enjoyed reading a  post that predicts the demise of learning communities that I've known...maybe even the one where I'm currently employed, Frey is one of the first authors I've read who also articulates a rationale for a substantial increase in demand for education.  He even goes so far as predicting in his follow-up post on July 28, 2013, Preparing our Minds for Thoughts Unthinkable: The Future of Colleges and Universities, that, "In the future the largest web property on the Internet will be oriented around education."

Reading other authors and the often lengthy list of emotional comments of their readers or watching various pundits on t.v. has not been very satisfying...with their repeated references to unsustainable price increases, student debt loads, and higher education institutions that are unable or unwilling to change....people just seem a bit too happy sticking a finger in my eye...or, saying in many ways that what I've been doing, is at best, irrelevant....or worse, buries innocent young people under mountains of debt without imparting any marketable skills.

Instead of breathlessly anticipating the end of our "bubble" and the demise of higher education...I came away from reading Frey more hopeful than I've felt for a while...and with luck I might live just long enough to see if he is correct.