Trading public good in the higher education market

Prof. Dr. Frank Newman (Brown University, the Futures Project)

Higher Education plays an ever more critical role in the energizing and supporting of today’s society. But, at the same time that higher education is growing in size and importance, it is also changing. It is becoming more competitive, more global, more influenced by the impact of technology. Most significantly, it is more and more functioning as a market rather than as a regulated public sector. Markets, however, unless carefully structured, do not always serve the public interest. Signs are already appearing of the erosion of some critical public purposes and there is every indication that there will be further erosion. What is the evidence of change so far? What strategic interventions can save higher education’s soul? How can universities prepare themselves for a different and more demanding world?