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ERIC Number: ED535182
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 72
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Disrupting College: How Disruptive Innovation Can Deliver Quality and Affordability to Postsecondary Education
Christensen, Clayton M.; Horn, Michael B.; Caldera, Louis; Soares, Louis
Innosight Institute
This report has not sought to study higher education to reach conclusions about higher education. Rather, it has been to treat the industry's challenges, at their core, as problems of managing innovation effectively. The authors therefore examine the industry through the lenses of the theories that have emerged from research on innovation. Higher education has seen incredible cost inflation in recent years, which is reflected in the 10 percent annual rate of inflation of tuition in nominal terms. This is the perfectly natural result of head-on competition in the plane of sustaining innovation. Disruption hasn't historically been possible in higher education because there hasn't been an upwardly scalable technology driver available. Yet online learning changes this. Disruption is usually underway when the leading companies in an industry are in financial crisis, even while entrants at the "low end" of the industry are growing rapidly and profitably. This is currently underway in higher education. This report is meant to give policymakers as well as the administrators and trustees of traditional universities a language and a way of framing the problem so that they can formulate and implement viable strategies for staying strong in the future. (Contains 11 figures, 4 tables, and 54 endnotes.)
Innosight Institute. 2929 Campus Drive Suite 410, San Mateo, CA 94403. Tel: 650-887-0788; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Innosight Institute; Center for American Progress