Hand-picked selections of articles, reports, blog posts and events from the last seven days (or so).

College’s Greatest Challenges

external_forcesThe Lawlor Group recently conducted a survey of key thought leaders in higher education as we prepare our annual take on the trends and forces in the higher education marketplace this coming year. We gathered the insights and opinions of presidents, chief enrollment and marketing officers, and other administrators at colleges and universities throughout the country. We asked what three external market forces they predict will present the greatest challenge to their institution in 2013. More than three-quarters cited “perceptions of unaffordability (willingness to pay)” among the families of students they wish to recruit, and more than two-thirds cited “families’ economic hardship (ability to pay).” Read the full article here. 

More (Breathless) Talk of Revolution in Higher Ed

The End of the University as We Know It. By Nathan Harden

“In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.” Read the full article here. 

UK Higher Ed Trends


“This year’s Patterns report, which continues the series on changing trends in higher education and brings us up to 2011, records a period of outstanding success and growth for UK universities. It tells the story of how institutions are demonstrating resilience in the face of uncertainty, and a capacity to adapt to the challenges of rapid change.In addition to this brief summary publication, detailed data on patterns of institutional diversity (published as section B of this report in previous years) are available on the Higher education in focus page of the website (see link below). This data tracks the rise of student numbers and the extent to which the profile of the student population has changed, and considers the changing popularity of different subject areas over the period, as well as looking at the financial position of the sector.” Access the report here. 

Essay: Ambiguity of “Ownership” in Higher Education

“Using the UK as an example, this paper argues that universities are exposed to governance hazards as a result of ambiguity of ownership. These hazards include the appropriation of academic resources for managerial gain at the expense of social interests. To address this risk we draw upon existing alternative governance models and propose the creation of Trust Universities. These would make universities irrevocably part of the knowledge commons, vest beneficial ownership and control in students and all employees and help prevent excessive managerial predation. Systems of accountability and regulation would help rebuild mutually beneficial compacts both internally and with the surrounding society.” Read the full article. 

Faculty Issues

Poor Teaching does not Slow Promotion, Ontario Auditor-General finds in Report

“Ontario’s universities have tools to ensure that professors excel at teaching but they are not using them, says the province’s Auditor-General.” Read the full article. 

The Education Business

Two Planned “EdTech” Accelerators May be on the Verge of a Merger

“One group has been calling its project Exponential Boston, and raising money to launch an inaugural program in mid-2013, aimed at helping education-focused entrepreneurs turn concepts into companies. exlogoThe core team at Exponential includes EdTech entrepreneur Hakan Satiroglu; Boston University entrepreneurship czar Vinit Nijhawan; and Mark Miller, a banker who often works with EdTech companies.” Read the full article.


  1. Thanks for the mention and post, Keith. It is appreciated. Dynamic times for higher education management and the marketplace. 2013 will represent an evolutionary time period. Best wishes for the New Year.


  2. There are some really good articles here. I am doing a bit of reaserch over the holidays and this has helped a lot. Have a very Merry Christmas, Keith.


  3. 2013 should be a very interesting for higher ed, John.


  4. Don’t work too hard over the holidays, Mark.


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