The current insolvency of higher education is a fact of life. The majority of colleges are unable to generate revenues sufficient to continue without receiving additional funding. As such funding is problematical a reorganizing of institutions of learning is necessary.
The business of universities will become information transfer or teaching and the marketing of competitive credentialing of grading, requiring continuing testing.
The customers for the product of universities will be employers wishing to know the comparative abilities of credentialed graduates. The degree credentials granted will have to include grade rankings and other scores.
Tuition and related expenses will be graduation subsequent employment returns. X university will present students with the prospect of earning Y times the cost of degree acquisition over Z years, assuming at least a better than average degree scoring.
Applied research will have to be done by possibly affiliated institutions financed by grants and other result participating approaches. Basic research will be financed by governments and other non-profit funding sources.
The above vision is one which will require a recognition by educators that they are in the business of creating and marketing a competitive product resulting in student investment and customer benefit. In many cases, the educational product with be largely interactive computing based. Increased direct student effort will be required and the process will be less theatre- like, heavily dependent on talented teaching performers. Some of the important benefits of traditional education, such as student interaction and competitive sports will be different.
Times have changed as have the needs and payment abilities of the society. Universities are now in the position of being in the student economic opportunity preparation business. Academia is now part of the internationally competitive job creation process and no longer able to avoid the economic realities of our time.
Of course, there will be privately financed citadels of academic excellence and these will produce remarkable results. However, these institutions will not be relevant to the immediate needs of the population, which will be personal return focused.
College students in the United States are now in competition with many students in other countries who have had better basic education in math and the sciences and who have a greater motivation to succeed. We, as a country and our students as individuals, must adapt to the change in world circumstances and strive to capture the knowledge necessary as quickly as possible for us to compete. The failure for us to create effective education could result in our becoming economically dominated by other countries.
Arthur Lipper, Chairman
British Far East Holdings Ltd.
+1 858 793 7100
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