Have we reached peak higher education?

InsideHigherEd_logoInside Higher Ed published my essay entitled Has Higher Ed Peaked?  In it I raise the idea of applying peak models to the entire sector of American higher education.  It’s a think piece, a provocation.

Yes, it sprang from last year’s blog post on that topic, and owes much to the generous commentators who helped think it through.

Mountain peak

(photo by Kevin Dooley)

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8 Responses to Have we reached peak higher education?

  1. Pingback: Signs of peak higher education: the return of vo tech | Bryan Alexander

  2. gseverett1 says:

    Bryan –
    Apart from a return to vo tech, how will colleges & universities demonstrate success in a period of flat or declining enrollments? It’s all too common for a university to equate growth with success, and state legislatures’ funding formulas often penalize their universities for drops in enrollment.
    It would be nice to think that we can turn our attention to outcomes assessment, but how realistic is that?

  3. Many institutions are supplementing declining US numbers with international students, Glen. That’s one way.
    Another option is to shift demographics and appeal more strongly to adult learners.

    But those are quantitative measures. Your qualitative points are good. I can imagine schools boosting the quality of experience, either through amenities or improved graduation rates.

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  8. run 3 says:

    How will universities and colleges prove their usefulness in a time of stagnant or declining student numbers, except from a potential increase in the number of students enrolling in vocational schools? Universities occasionally equate growth with success, and enrollment losses frequently have a negative impact on the financial regulations put in place by state legislatures.
    We should start concentrating on outcome evaluation, but is that even feasible?

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