Disruptions in Higher Education

There are five forces that are disrupting higher education; the sea of red ink (which means that colleges are digging themselves into bigger financial holes by investing poorly), the fact that state governments’ budgets for higher education is being reduced dramatically, the selection of students are becoming more reliant on who can pay full tuition (out-of-state students and foreign students), the better alternatives such as education through the use of technology, and the growing value gap—which means that the value of a higher degree is decreasing because people are seeing that “higher education is doing a poor job at providing value for the money spent” (71, Selingo). 

These five forces are devaluing higher education and turning away many prospective students as colleges continue to rise in price during this difficult economic period. I personally think that because of all these driving forces, online education and community college are looking more promising. At the price colleges are currently worth and falling economy, obtaining a higher degree does not seem favorable as the debt will only grow per student. Conventional higher education’s future is dimming as the progressives are finding new ways to provide universal education through technology; a great example is the Kahn Academy where Kahn has helped tutor millions of students across the world. He not only helped students through tough classes, but he also demonstrated how easily accessible free education can be. However, because of this, the value of a face-to-face education is lost. Is this considered a detrimental loss? Although I believe having an intimate educational learning is important in developing more skills such as critical thinking, education through technology (online classes) are in many ways better because it is easily accessible to people and more people will become educated—which seems far more important than just educating a select group of elite individuals who are able to afford these expensive institutions. Overall, these disruptions have changed society’s view of education, but it has also introduced new innovative ways to educate others through alternative sources.


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