Thursday, April 29, 2010
Seth Godin on the Demise of Higher Education
Seth Godin has a tremendous blog post today on the "coming meltdown in higher education." This is a must-read for all university administrators, faculty, parents, and students. Godin makes a number of interesting points, and I think he's right about rankings and accreditation. Rankings and accreditation bodies have actually contributed to an increasing homogenization of higher education, while costs continue to rise faster than wages. As Godin writes, there's an increasing "sameness" to the education offered at universities. Everyone is focused on the same small set of variables in the rankings, and they are all trying to meet accreditation standards that often leave little room for truly breakthrough, innovative strategies. Standards and rankings have reduced differentiation in the marketplace of higher education, which cannot be a good thing. I'm not suggesting that we abolish rankings or accreditation bodies... we need both, but at the same time, universities need to think more creatively about how to break away from the pack. Herd behavior is everywhere in higher education, and that does not benefit anyone.