The big picture: Higher education institutions — private, public, for-profit and not — are buckling in the face of demographic shifts, the arrival of automation, declining enrollment, political headwinds and faltering faith in the system.
Today’s student isn’t necessarily the “first-time, full-time” one that higher education is currently constructed around, says Julie Peller of Higher Learning Advocates.
- Instead, 37% are over the age of 25, they often attend classes part-time while they juggle at least one job and nearly a quarter are parents, requiring the higher education system to serve across generations and situations of students.
- They can be picking classes based on babysitter and bus schedules rather than who is the best professor, says Peller.
- While more people of color and students from low-income families are attending college than 30 years ago, there is a striking gap in completion rate.
The higher education system is struggling to prepare students for today’s — not to mention tomorrow’s — economy.
- A college education used to be tackled once in life, early on, and typically supported people through a lifelong career.
- Today there are gig jobs, the risk of being replaced by a robot and an expectation that life will involve more than one career and require more than one go at education beyond high school.
- State schools are receiving less funding per student than before the Great Recession, while private institutions face proposed taxes on endowments and scramble for revenue from tuition.
- A key question then: Who will pay for lifelong learning?
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Our higher education system is mismatched with the realities of modern life – Axios