The report was created as part of a Kauffman Foundation retreat in December that brought together a panel of 30 education analysts and practitioners to examine the challenges facing higher education and generate ideas to overcome them. The group addressed key topics including campus-level obstacles to innovation; accreditation; state and federal regulations; academic productivity; measuring student-learning and job-market outcomes; and how to take educational innovation to scale.
"U.S. higher education today faces a host of problems from rising costs and dismaying dropout rates to low productivity and failure to effectively serve nontraditional students," said Ben Wildavsky, Kauffman Foundation senior scholar for research and policy and co-organizer of the retreat. "We see an urgent need to not just reform, but rethink, how colleges and universities deliver education to enhance quality, access, and graduates' success in the workforce."
"College 2.0" showcases ambitious ideas for reinventing higher education, focused on making better use of technology, developing a culture of measurement and performance incentives, and creating smarter regulation. Recommended actions fell into six broad categories, including:
Participants included Shai Reshef, founder of the University of the People; the management editor of The Economist; the founders of startups 2tor, Inc. and StraighterLine; senior leaders of nontraditional universities such as Olin College and Western Governors University; the president and CEO of Kaplan, Inc.; the directors of education policy at the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, and the Center for American Progress; and professors who both study and participate in postsecondary reform initiatives.