- A recent study suggests that the number of students in colleges and universities across the globe will double by 2025, which could have interesting impications in the U.S., given reports of declining enrollment at colleges nationwide.
- With endowment funds headed for a second-straight year of bad returns, and public appropriations decreasing, the pressure will be for colleges to increase international and out-of-state recruitment to aid in stabilizing revenue.
- These demands will require schools to become more aggressive in promoting cultural tolerance, and technological advancement in teaching and service delivery.
An increase in global enrollment will present both opportunities and challenges for U.S. campuses dealing with dwindling feeder populations. On one hand, a jump in the number of students in higher ed worldwide presents an opportunity for institutions to increase international outreach and attract more students to campus from around the globe.
But on the other, schools will face a daunting task of increased demand from a diverse set of learners, while trying to upgrade technologies, create and enhance programs to be more industrially relevant, all while working to increase tolerance among diverse sets of ethnic groups on campus. In particular, diversity will require global perspectives on accepting and accommodating ethnic, religious and cultural differences on campus among faculty and students, as U.S. college enrollment falls and more students from foreign nations are seeking entry into American institutions.
It is a tall task by any measure, and part of the reason the college presidency is fading as a desired position. The goal for any college leader is to confront these issues individually, with the goal of complete campus buy-in behind the long term impact of building capacity. With the crisis of higher education just beginning, time is not a commodity that most campuses can enjoy in the next decade.