post-secondary ed: the future

Looking at Think Again: Education - By Ben Wildavsky | Foreign Policy.  FP is quite the place these days. Actual foreign policy may be abysmal but the magazine is moving forward. This article addresses current worries in education in short segments:
  • American Kids are Falling Behind:  Not Really
  • The US Used to Have the Smartest Schoolchildren: No It Didn't
  • Chinese Students Are Eating America's Lunch: Only Partly True
  • The US No Longer Attracts the Best and Brightest: Wrong
  • American Universities Are Being Overtaken: Not So Fast
  • The World Will Catch Up: Maybe But Not Soon
So many cannot afford college and yet US citizens are being told that they need to spend on training beyond high school.  The entire post-sec ed establishment has a higher dropout rate than high schools and completion rates are very low while loading kids trying to get ahead with debt.

But that really isn't an issue for the ed elite whose future looks ever brighter:
But over the long term, exactly where countries sit in the university hierarchy will be less and less relevant, as Americans' understanding of who is "us" and who is "them" gradually changes. Already, a historically unprecedented level of student and faculty mobility has become a defining characteristic of global higher education. Cross-border scientific collaboration, as measured by the volume of publications by co-authors from different countries, has more than doubled in two decades. Countries like Singapore and Saudi Arabia are jump-starting a culture of academic excellence at their universities by forging partnerships with elite Western institutions such as Duke, MIT, Stanford, and Yale.The notion of just how much a university really has to be connected to a particular location is being rethought, too. Western universities, from Texas A&M to the Sorbonne, have garnered much attention by creating, admittedly with mixed results, some 160 branch campuses in Asia and the Middle East, many launched in the last decade. New York University recently went one step further by opening a full-fledged liberal arts campus in Abu Dhabi, part of what NYU President John Sexton envisions as a "global network university." One day, as University of Warwick Vice Chancellor Nigel Thrift suggests, we may see outright mergers between institutions -- and perhaps ultimately the university equivalent of multinational corporations.
Good to know how all that fits together.
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