Welcome to our overview page for NEBHE’s Higher Education Innovation Challenge.

Since publication of the Davis Educational Foundation’s report, An Inquiry Into the Rising Cost of Higher Education, NEBHE and the Foundation have been collaborating with a range of academic, philanthropic and other leaders to develop an urgent action-oriented dialogue on threats facing New England’s colleges and universities. These threats stem partly from shifts in academic content and delivery, student demography and institutional finances—all set against the background of both rising expectations and eroding public perceptions of higher education.


NEBHE is now honing tools and facilitating discussions to help campuses address these challenges—in short, to determine how to sustain New England’s historically vibrant and economically potent academic sector.


We know some campus leaders share our concerns and have already taken steps by adopting best practices and innovative strategies to address the cost and affordability issues challenging their institutions and the students they serve. We are also aware that, for a significant number of our institutions, additional efforts and innovations are necessary to protect educational quality and ensure the institutional capacity to meet the needs of our changing student population.

To help campus leaders better assess threats, protect educational quality and promote dialogue and consultations on campus, NEBHE has developed a practical, convenient and useful Higher Education Innovation Challenge Toolkit. The Toolkit can be used for data collection, performance measurement assessments, and helping campuses organize and integrate information and data. The Toolkit resources can be adapted to facilitate new institutional programs, stimulate new ideas and innovations or fine-tune and enhance existing strategies.

Compiled with guidance and support from a wide range of experts and organizations in New England and around the globe, the Toolkit is designed to help an institution assess and evaluate its performance on a variety of analytical metrics and institutional factors. We recognize that no two institutions are the same and the use of these tools will vary by institutional needs, interests and concerns. While some institutions in the region may be in the early stages of identifying challenges and threats facing their institution, others may be farther along. Regardless of where you are, we encourage you to explore all these resources and use them in whichever order seems most useful for your situation and institutional needs.

Please click the sidebar on the right to access tools, resources and information about the project. Also visit NEBHE’s homepage for more news and commentary.