The Higher Educational Bubble Continues to Grow
Nov 05, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Higher education, writes Karl Kapp, is in the grip of a bubble. The signs?
- core mission and fundamentals are ignored
- disproportionate compensation at the highest levels
- product value doesn't match marketplace expectations
- prices are manipulated without regard to market supply and demand
- perception of exclusivity
- a delusion that "this market is different"
I have long affirmed that such a crisis is coming and that it would arrive very suddenly after being years in the making. It is now very close - within a matter of months. 2010 some time, maybe (at the outside) 2011, at least in North America. Funding will dry up, there will be significant staff reductions, institutions will merge or close, and administrators will be desperate for alternatives. Not just in education, but education will be very hard hit, and at all levels.

Related: the New York Times on public universities. As Leiter notes, "The Neoliberal Paradigm in Higher Education has been preparing the demise of 'public' research universities for 25 years now. Those that become de facto privates like Michigan will survive as major research universities, and those that don't will see their former excellence gradually erode--unless, of course, there is some dramatic transformation in the economic and political culture." Just saying...

Also related: We must... - "a call to action to create the university of the future - Here are five tasks prioritised las month at a "create the university of the future" meeting sponsored by the Open University of Catalonia and the US based and led New Media Consortium, and attended by "forty leaders in open education and technology" Barcelona. Source."
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Comments

Re: The Higher Educational Bubble Continues to Grow

Thanks Stephen for your posting here and for all that you do within the world of education! I couldn't agree with you and Karl more re: this topic. In fact, I have been collecting a variety of items from articles, blogs, peer-reviewed periodicals, etc. that illustrate the trends (that back this perspective up) for many months now. Two relevant pages:

http://www.calvin.edu/~dsc8/walmartofeducation.htm
http://www.calvin.edu/~dsc8/visions.htm

Thanks again,
Daniel S. Christian

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