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ERIC Number: EJ1133031
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-1609
The Real Crisis in Higher Education
Brown, Roger
Higher Education Review, v46 n3 p4-25 Sum 2014
Everyone seems to see higher education in crisis. In spite of recent fee increases, institutions are still underfunded if one takes into account present and future investment needs against current and projected surpluses. Students are having to pay more for their courses while being less certain of a graduate, or even any, job. Employers continue to complain about graduates' lack of enterprise skills whilst being reluctant to put their hands in their pockets to support higher education or high level training (and in spite of having record amounts of cash on their balance sheets). Governments consider that universities are still insufficiently responsive to student and economic pressures, as well as unable or unwilling to innovate or keep their costs under control. While most of these concerns have force, the real crisis that higher education faces is that universities, their leaders, and many of those associated with them, are pursuing status and position for themselves, their subjects, and their institutions at the expense of their core activities of educating students and conducting research and scholarship to the highest possible standards. The author incidentally distinguishes "status" from "reputation" and "prestige" while noting that they can sometimes be used interchangeably. This article reviews the evidence for this assertion and aims to identify the causes before speculating on the possible consequences. The author explains what he thinks is necessary to get higher education back on track.
Tyrrell Burgess Associates. 34 Sandilands, Croydon, CRO 5DB, UK. Tel: +44-2086-561770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A