The Disruptions Facing Higher Education, and How Universities are Beginning to Adapt
By Alex Goldman
At no time in history have there been as many unknowns facing the field of higher education. The cost of college attendance, and the resulting mountains of student debt, loom as possible economic bubbles; the college education inflation rate has risen nearly 500% since 1985- schools that cost $10,000 per year in 1985 now charge an average of $59,000. In the recent economic downturn, students graduating from college or university often find themselves unemployed or underemployed, leading to questions about the return on investment of a college diploma.
To boot, new platforms for deploying learning, particularly over the internet, pose to disrupt higher education by presenting alternative pathways to acquiring knowledge and skill. These range from for-profit online universities like the University of Phoenix to non-profits like the University of the People. And with the low cost of content distribution and the possibility of quickly reaching massive audiences, innovators and venture capitalists have taken notice, leading to startups like Udemy and Udacity. All these institutions promise learning at a cheaper rate, many of them for free.
- Has Higher Education Become an Engine of Inequality? (hollymccracken.wordpress.com)
- Is Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity the future of higher education? (cnn.com)