- The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed more than 250 college and university stakeholders to find out their takes on the most pressing issues facing higher education today and into the future.
- Several respondents indicated the rise of diversity in higher education access as a major factor, with affordability, government influence and technological development as similarly important factors.
- According to several surveys, most respondents believe higher education does not have a role in the widening income gap, should not be free for students, and that academic specialization has been good for intellectual life.
The Chronicle's listing of very specific responses does little to aggregate ideas about the biggest issues facing higher education, but it does give perspective on how the people who most shape the industry are disconnected from its ideal benefits versus what consumers believe the industry to be.
A few of the major hot topics in higher education are a) what to do with students displaced or disenfranchised by the closure of for-profit institutions; b) the continuing marginalization of minority-serving schools and where those students will go if these schools are shut down by new federal regulations; and c) how quickly schools outside of the large public and elite Ivy Leagues will be able to integrate technology and endowment-building strategies to serve the needs of the majority of the nation's population.
And somehow, these basic concepts are parsed down into smaller focal points that, in legislative houses and living rooms across the country, make little difference in the culture of who gets to go to college and who is boxed out of the opportunity by race, class and industry.