Category Archives: research topics

What is the world worrying about in 2018?

A new survey comes from Ipsos, and it’s most illuminating.  Ipsos polled nearly 20,000 people from around the world*, asking them what they’re most worried about. It’s a fascinating idea, trying to get a finger on the world’s pulse. Here … Continue reading

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How healthy are American colleges? Their chief business officers speak.

Is American higher education financially sustainable? We can do well to answer this question by listening to college and university chief finance or business officers.  After all, campus finance is their job.  Last week Inside Higher Ed  surveyed 415 of … Continue reading

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Why are the financial rewards from higher education falling?

One of the major benefits of higher education is the “college premium.”  That’s the economic boost a graduate receives to their lifetime earnings as a result of getting a postsecondary degree.  The common understanding is that the college premium is … Continue reading

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One campus imagines its future: the Georgia Tech plan

How might universities reinvent themselves for the 21st century? Georgia Tech recently released an ambitious plan for its future development (pdf), and Jeff Selingo shared his observations at the Washington Post.  He interviewed me for my reactions, so you can … Continue reading

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Weekend question: where will automation take us by 2033?

How do you think automation will transform society over the next 15 years? I wanted to pose this question for general discussion today, rather than to offer my own take (which is still in process, and part of the book … Continue reading

Posted in research topics, technology | 1 Comment

The 2008 financial crash and what came next: John Lanchester and education

We are rapidly approaching the ten-year anniversary of the greatest financial disaster to strike the modern world since the 1930s.  I hope people in education, technology, futures, and policy fields will reflect on this and how it reshaped our time. … Continue reading

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Academia after peak higher education

What happens to colleges and universities after peak higher education? Some background: five years ago I introduced the peak higher ed idea with a blog post.  Inspired by other peak discussions (peak car, peak sand, peak oil, etc.) I applied the … Continue reading

Posted in future of education, research topics | 4 Comments

Building an American caste system, part 2: the 9%

A few months ago I started writing about the possibility that American society could develop into a caste system, structured in part by education.  I began by describing the rural poor as one such caste.  Then… I got distracted by … Continue reading

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Cuts, more cuts, a school’s closure, and another closure

I’ve been traveling for the past week (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania), so blogging’s been lighter than I would have liked.  Let me catch up a little with this post on a sadly dark theme. That theme is American campuses wielding axes … Continue reading

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Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium to shut down

How can higher education sustain online learning? This might be an odd question to ask, when programs in what we used to call “distance learning” are growing in student numbers.  Yet these programs are bound up in the general crisis … Continue reading

Posted in education and technology, research topics | 5 Comments