In last week’s Washington Post, former Chronicle of Education Editor Jeff Selingo wrote an opinion piece about Harvard and its peers and their continued low admission rates. According to Mr. Selingo, some of these institutions’ alums may view the low, single-digit admissions rates as a confirmation of their alma maters’ popularity and prestige. He believes that these numbers are signs of institutional failure.
Trends in Higher Education
In a recently published EdSurge article, senior reporter Emily Tate reports that the edtech industry in the U.S. is massive. In 2020, edtech startups and existing companies raised $2.2 billion from investors. Despite the continuing investment of capital in the industry, no one knows what the aggregate industry revenues are.
The sequels continue as responses come in to the now-famous Atlantic article by Caitlin Flanagan about independent school graduates comprising a higher percentage of elite college admissions than their overall share of high school graduates would indicate.
Last month, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued a report about the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on education. Authored by Dirk Van Damme, Head of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, the report begins by mentioning the collapse of the financial system in 2008, the pandemic, and climate change. It also states that the most disruptive change in the 21st century will be AI.
Lindsay McKenzie’s article in Tuesday’s Inside Higher Ed provided me with the news that the University of Missouri System had launched a new online arm called Missouri Online.
For the better part of the last decade, there have been proposals for free education at community colleges. As recently as December 23, President Biden pledged to provide tuition-free community college for all.
Perhaps it was Rebecca Natow’s article in The Chronicle of Higher Education Review titled “Why Haven’t More Colleges Closed?”. Maybe it was Allison Salisbury’s article in Forbes titled “Building Equitable Upskilling Programs: It’s Not Degree Vs. Short Credentials – It’s Both.” Also, it could be the hundreds — if not thousands — of articles and books about the pending changes in higher ed that have been written and published over the past two decades. Clearly, the most recent two articles cited triggered my motivation to pen this article.
In a recently published article in Forbes, Brandon Busteed makes the provocative statement that elite universities should enroll a million students. Busteed opens his article by writing that the Ivy Plus colleges (the Ivy League plus the University of Chicago, MIT, Stanford, and Duke) produce the highest social mobility success rate, with nearly 60 percent of their students from the bottom quintile of income distribution moving to the top quintile after graduating. (Note: Just 3.8 percent of students from the bottom quintile of income distribution are enrolled at these institutions.)
Credential Engine released its latest report, “Counting of U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials,” which is a summary of its attempt to list all postsecondary credentials in the United States. Thanks to funding from Ascendium Education Group, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ECMC Foundation, Google, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Lumina Foundation, Microsoft, and Walmart, Credential Engine was able to hire the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) to prepare the analyses for the report.
I follow Ryan Craig’s blog. I have autographed copies of two of his books, and I even have a nice University Ventures jacket, thanks to being a panelist at one of his annual meetings. Generally, I agree with his posts. “How Digital Credentials Will Diminish Degrees” is the title of this week’s Gap Letter (Volume III, #3) and the subject of a Forbes article by Craig.