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Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education

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The outlook for the future of colleges and universities is uncertain. Financial stresses, changing student populations, and rapidly developing technologies all pose significant challenges to the nation's colleges and universities. In Academia Next, futurist and higher education expert Bryan Alexander addresses these evolving trends to better understand higher education's n The outlook for the future of colleges and universities is uncertain. Financial stresses, changing student populations, and rapidly developing technologies all pose significant challenges to the nation's colleges and universities. In Academia Next, futurist and higher education expert Bryan Alexander addresses these evolving trends to better understand higher education's next generation. Alexander first examines current economic, demographic, political, international, and policy developments as they relate to higher education. He also explores internal developments within postsecondary schooling, including those related to enrollment, access, academic labor, alternative certification, sexual assault, and the changing library, paying particularly close attention to technological changes. Alexander then looks beyond these trends to offer a series of distinct scenarios and practical responses for institutions to consider when combating shrinking enrollments, reduced public support, and the proliferation of technological options. Arguing that the forces he highlights are not speculative but are already in play, Alexander draws on a rich, extensive, and socially engaged body of research to best determine their likeliest outcomes. It is only by taking these trends seriously, he writes, that colleges and universities can improve their chances of survival. An unusually multifaceted approach to American higher education that views institutions as complex organisms, Academia Next offers a fresh perspective on the emerging colleges and universities of today and tomorrow.


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The outlook for the future of colleges and universities is uncertain. Financial stresses, changing student populations, and rapidly developing technologies all pose significant challenges to the nation's colleges and universities. In Academia Next, futurist and higher education expert Bryan Alexander addresses these evolving trends to better understand higher education's n The outlook for the future of colleges and universities is uncertain. Financial stresses, changing student populations, and rapidly developing technologies all pose significant challenges to the nation's colleges and universities. In Academia Next, futurist and higher education expert Bryan Alexander addresses these evolving trends to better understand higher education's next generation. Alexander first examines current economic, demographic, political, international, and policy developments as they relate to higher education. He also explores internal developments within postsecondary schooling, including those related to enrollment, access, academic labor, alternative certification, sexual assault, and the changing library, paying particularly close attention to technological changes. Alexander then looks beyond these trends to offer a series of distinct scenarios and practical responses for institutions to consider when combating shrinking enrollments, reduced public support, and the proliferation of technological options. Arguing that the forces he highlights are not speculative but are already in play, Alexander draws on a rich, extensive, and socially engaged body of research to best determine their likeliest outcomes. It is only by taking these trends seriously, he writes, that colleges and universities can improve their chances of survival. An unusually multifaceted approach to American higher education that views institutions as complex organisms, Academia Next offers a fresh perspective on the emerging colleges and universities of today and tomorrow.

56 review for Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan Graser

    Of the many recent surveys and discussions around the future of academia in the next few generations, this is perhaps the finest. Where many "futurists" throw out social-media sized "ideas" that have all the formulation, consideration, and academic rigor of a Trump-tweet, Bryan Alexander soberly surveys the context for his suggestions and possibilities and also assesses their relationship not only to our current reality but also the notion of what the academy is and should be. Also, where many " Of the many recent surveys and discussions around the future of academia in the next few generations, this is perhaps the finest. Where many "futurists" throw out social-media sized "ideas" that have all the formulation, consideration, and academic rigor of a Trump-tweet, Bryan Alexander soberly surveys the context for his suggestions and possibilities and also assesses their relationship not only to our current reality but also the notion of what the academy is and should be. Also, where many "futurists" write a "book" that throws around dozens of ideas and uses as their "examination" the one instance in the past several generations where a similar idea worked for a small subset of institutions (the intellectual equivalent of firing an AK-47 blindfolded in a field, finding the one bullet that actually hit the broadside of the barn, and drawing a bullseye around that one after the fact), again Bryan Alexander keeps the suggestions focused and displays an economy of thought and language that keeps the work genuinely interesting throughout, even for someone like myself who works in academia and has discussed, in committee, many similar notions in the past few years. Erudite, interesting, and committed to the preservation of what the academy should be; this is a fine read and a breath of very fresh air in an over-crowded marketplace surrounding academia populated by "authors" who are mere doomsday prophets and/or pseudo-intellectual hacks.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tara Brabazon

    I'm always under convinced by the fortune tellers of intellectual life. You know the type. The terminal teleologists. But Alexander has created a series of models for understanding the future of higher education. When technology and demography dialogue, the future of fewer workers and fewer children transforms the 'project' of higher education. When aligned with the open access movement, this is a radical transformation. Seeing 'our' future in 2030 is a powerful scholarly exercise. This is a well I'm always under convinced by the fortune tellers of intellectual life. You know the type. The terminal teleologists. But Alexander has created a series of models for understanding the future of higher education. When technology and demography dialogue, the future of fewer workers and fewer children transforms the 'project' of higher education. When aligned with the open access movement, this is a radical transformation. Seeing 'our' future in 2030 is a powerful scholarly exercise. This is a well written book, and very well researched. It makes an argument, rather than assumes an argument. We have a vision of our future here. And much of it is a post-education future...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alireza Hejazi

    Bryan's book is noteworthy! The future of institutes of higher education is uncertain. In the context of American higher education, the level of uncertainty is determined by these factors: educational sources and technologies, social tendencies, economic forces, and demographic structures. These drivers bring radical challenges to colleges and universities. While the reputation of higher education is on the path of decline, those institutes that intend to survive have to reinvent the concept of Bryan's book is noteworthy! The future of institutes of higher education is uncertain. In the context of American higher education, the level of uncertainty is determined by these factors: educational sources and technologies, social tendencies, economic forces, and demographic structures. These drivers bring radical challenges to colleges and universities. While the reputation of higher education is on the path of decline, those institutes that intend to survive have to reinvent the concept of higher education within their institutional frameworks as far as their possibilities and resources permit. In the foreseeable future, technological developments make a mix that affects the ways in which universities operate and people benefit from the merits of being educated at higher levels. The prime audiences of this book are higher education administrators, policy and decision makers.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Andrés Vanegas

    ¿Qué pregunta puede ser más relevante en la sociedad moderna que aquella sobre el futuro de la educación superior? Para entrever una respuesta se requiere una visión muy amplia no solo del sector educativo sino de las tendencias que lo vienen impactando en los últimos años, en el presente y hacia el futuro. En Academia Next The Future of Higuer Education, Bryan Alexander realiza un ejercicio académico de prospectiva, para algunos puede resultar apasionante, y para otros, francamente perturbador: ¿Qué pregunta puede ser más relevante en la sociedad moderna que aquella sobre el futuro de la educación superior? Para entrever una respuesta se requiere una visión muy amplia no solo del sector educativo sino de las tendencias que lo vienen impactando en los últimos años, en el presente y hacia el futuro. En Academia Next The Future of Higuer Education, Bryan Alexander realiza un ejercicio académico de prospectiva, para algunos puede resultar apasionante, y para otros, francamente perturbador: plantear escenarios para la educación superior a 10 años (el libro fue escrito antes de la pandemia) y más allá. El libro cumple varios propósitos, uno de ellos es que es ampliamente informativo sobre los cambios económicos, políticos, sociales, demográficos y tecnológicos, entre otros, que están impactando la educción superior. Las partes del libro que más disfruté es cuando se atreve a plantear escenarios diversos y a veces contrapuestos sobre el sector. Algunos apartados contienen tanta información que el argumento inicial se pierde por momentos. De todas formas, es un libro excelente cuya principal invitación es a poder reinventar juntos futuros prósperos de la educación superior.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stan Skrabut

    If you are into education and you have not heard of Bryan Alexander, you should check him out. I have been reading what he has written for years. Alexander is a futurist who focused on higher education. I have been impressed with his insights. Once I discovered that he wrote a book that focused on higher education, I knew that I needed to read it. Lots of interesting perspectives in Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education . Read more If you are into education and you have not heard of Bryan Alexander, you should check him out. I have been reading what he has written for years. Alexander is a futurist who focused on higher education. I have been impressed with his insights. Once I discovered that he wrote a book that focused on higher education, I knew that I needed to read it. Lots of interesting perspectives in Academia Next: The Futures of Higher Education . Read more

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    This provides an overview of the state of academia as it shifts from one that provides education independent of outside forces to an industry now very reliant on updating its business model to current trends and demands of a market that questions its worth.

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    Sara Baker

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    Angie Tarasoff

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    Jeffrey Zheng

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    Marco Guay

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    TΞΞL❍CK Mith!lesh

  28. 5 out of 5

    Karen

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