Throughout the higher education community the purpose of the university and the future sustainability of institutions of higher education are being debated by both academics and administrators. The academy will argue that the purpose of a college and university is to prepare young people to think critically, act responsibly and contribute to society. Many administrators, especially chief financial officers, insist that the higher educational landscape has changed and significant changes are needed throughout the university if schools are to survive in the future. CFOs will insist that the business model that has served higher education for the past 60 years must yield to a new set of realities. A 42.8 % discount rate for private, nonprofit institutions in 2011 is not sustainable. A yield rate of 36.4% for private schools in 2011 is a telling statistic. (more…)
In a recently published book, “The Innovative University,” authors Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring, define the “theory of disruptive innovation.” The authors state that while the traditional university is still indispensable, technology and innovation are disrupting the status quo. They list online learning as an example of disruptive innovation and caution colleges and universities to “rethink the entire traditional higher education model.” I was reminded while reading this book of Thomas Friedman’s October op ed article in “The New York Times,” in which he wrote that big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary. Does this sentiment pertain to higher education today?
As this year draws to a close, I would like to thank you for the many comments sent to me regarding the bi-monthly blogs highlighting major national and international trends in higher education. I have enjoyed conducting the research and sharing it with you. I look forward to another year and of writing and blogging with you.
I wish you, and your families, a happy and safe holiday season and all the best in the New Year.
One of the best books to address the unsustainability of the current higher education business model is “The Innovative University.” The authors, Clayton M. Christensen and Henry J. Eyring, maintain that change is higher education is inevitable and that universities are at risk of competitive disruption that could be both threatening and creative. The authors examine a dozen schools that are innovative and are embracing change with vitality and with a clear understanding of what they do best. One such school is Southern New Hampshire University and the school’s president, Paul LeBlanc, is quoted as follows:
In the July 1, 2012 edition of “The New York Times,” Nicholas Kristof, writing from Maseru, Lesotho, wrote that six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies between 2001 and 2010 were in Africa.
In a recently issued Goldman Sachs report, “Africa’s Turn,” the authors compared business opportunities in Africa with those of China in the early 1990s. (more…)