Higher Education

By Catharine B. Hill

The recession continues to create challenges for higher education in the US. Appropriate responses depend on expectations for the economy in the future, and whether the shocks we have experienced are short- or longer-term trends. Moody’s US Higher Education Outlook Negative in 2013 report does little to address these issues.

The optimal response to a cyclical change is to not allow significant changes to the structure of the colleges and universities. But if a change is permanent, adjustments are warranted. Of course, it is difficult to know whether shocks are permanent or temporary – there is a tendency to assume positive shocks are permanent and negative ones temporary, leading to inappropriate policy responses when wrong. This explains some of the problems facing many colleges and universities. Read more

Hans de Wit, Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education, Centre for Applied Research in Economics and Management, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Higher education can – and should – be a dynamo to economies. In the UK the HE ‘business’ is estimated to be worth around £59bn and employs more than 1% of the entire workforce, contributing more to GDP than the pharmaceutical and advertising industries combined. But so far its only been rankings of the top institutions which get attention – much less for how national systems of HE are doing, the environment and support they provide to fuel this potential mechanism for growth. Read more