There are several issues that Higher Education is facing in 2015. First, the cost seems to be on the top list of concerns. Second, workforce development is of major importance, as it is extremely difficult to find applicants with the appropriate skills for the required jobs in the American system. Third, competency-based education is gaining more attention from the media. Then, a leadership crisis is once again coming.
Cost is the primary concern for the President, Congress and for the public as well. The cost has been increasing over the past five years, which can be attributed to the support of reduced state taxes for the public institutions. At public colleges and universities, there was a high increase in both tuition and fees. President Obama has been drawing much attention to this issue in a White House Conference held in January last year.
Workforce development is of utmost importance, as employers have difficulties in finding the best candidates with the required skills to fit their jobs. That is why, Higher Education should do their best to prepare future workers to meet the employers’ requirements. There is also a skill gap, as there are many unfulfilled jobs and so many former students looking for jobs. Is technology changing so fast that Higher Education cannot keep up?
Competency-based education is increasingly demanded. Competency is still hard to attain. Programs should be focused on the assessment of students’ ability to apply what they have learnt. Assessment has also become the main concern for Higher Education. Methods should be applied to improve both learning and skill acquisition.
There is a debate whether new leaders should be prepared in Higher Education. Moreover, questions have been raised whether Higher Education is the right place to train future leaders in domains such as technology, innovation, entrepreneurial thinking or even advocacy. As for the economy in USA, it has been gaining strength while employment has been once again rising. Even if this fact is a very good news, there are still voices saying that college education is unnecessary to employment. More than that, student recruitment is becoming increasingly difficult, as the economic activity has been improved. All in all, the top issues that Higher Education is facing in 2015 are the following:
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