Posts Categorized: Commentary

Tuition Fees and Student Financial Assistance: 2010 Global Year

Since the start of the global financial crisis a little over two years ago, many concerns have been raised on how it might affect funding to higher education and whether or not it might hasten moves toward greater cost sharing. While, globally, some steps have been taken in this direction, in most countries, hard decisions have yet to be taken on this issue. Our inaugural annual survey of global ...

Review of MacroWikinomics

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World; Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams; Portfolio/Penguin 2010; $27.95 In a recent check of Google search term rankings, the term “wiki” garnered more than 100 million inquires over the prior 30 days. Presumably, some portion of that traffic was generated by those seeking for MacroWikinomics or its predecessor volume, Wikinomics. But th...

Biting the Hand: A Commentary on Academe’s Books About Itself

A new literary genre seems to be booming—book-length critiques on the state of American higher education. While a few celebrate American exceptionalism, most lament the decline of higher learning. Whether exuberant or depressed, their tone is rarely tempered. The authors’ demographics suggest why—they are generally at the twilight of their own academic careers, taking one last sh...

Book Review: Edupunks Chart Coming Transformation of Higher Ed

DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education, Anya Kamenetz, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vt., 2010Anya Kamenetz, a 2002 graduate of Yale and staff writer for Fast Company, could be an academic's worst nightmare. Articulate, forceful and skilled—her writing lobs volleys of criticisms that are hard to refute and harder still to ignore. In ...

How to Develop Learners Who Are Consistently Curious and Questioning

In the U.S., postsecondary education has long driven individual social mobility and collective economic prosperity. Nonetheless, the nation’s labor force includes 54 million adults who lack a college degree; of those, nearly 34 million have no college experience at all. In the 21st century, these numbers cannot sustain us. Returning to learning: Adults’ success in college is key to America’...

Book Review: Harnessing America’s Wasted Talent

Harnessing America's Wasted Talent: A New Ecology of Learning, Peter Smith, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2010In 1970, I was a high school student in a suburban New England town. The invasion of Cambodia and the shootings at Kent State had brought spectacular illumination to the end of the academic year and dimmed hopes that the war in Vietnam would soon be over. But optimism and idealism left over ...

The Real Education Crisis: Are 35% of all College Degrees in New England Unnecessary?

The notion of the "college labor market" as a fixed set of occupations is remarkably static. In contrast, we assume that job and skill requirements are dynamic.(This lively debate over future demand of college-educated workers will continue in our Forum.)Northeastern University economists Paul E. Harrington and Andrew M. Sum argue that in our recent report Help Wanted, we “radically overst...

The New Indentured Educated Class

If only they had their health … President Obama has emphasized the importance of higher education, and recently implemented ambitious higher education finance reform that will serve to benefit college students now and in the future. Although these changes are noteworthy, little has been done to help the many individuals who currently owe student debt, particularly private debt, and are n...

Kaleidoscope

Admitting and developing “New Leaders for a Changing World” ROBERT J. STERNBERG AND LEE A. COFFIN FROM THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION, WINTER 2010 In the fall of 2005, the Academic Council of Tufts University proposed a new slogan to characterize its mission in educating students: “New Leaders for a Changing World.” Many colleges, of course, have slogans of ...

The Good Business of Transfer

Why improving college transfer pathways makes good sense for New England CHARI A. LEADER FROM THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION, WINTER 2010 It’s rare for policymakers to think of higher education pathways beyond their own experiences as traditional students. Many went to college directly after high school, stayed in dorms and graduated ready for careers. But the world tod...