Report Warns of 'Avalanche' Approaching for Global Higher Education

March 11, 2013

An avalanche is coming to higher education, according to a new report by Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser at Pearson. The report, titled "An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead,” is being released today by the Institute for Public Policy Research, a British think tank.

Barber and his two co-authors (who also work for Pearson) argue that governments across the world need to rethink how they regulate and fund higher education institutions amid a wave of new education providers, including massive open online classes. In a telephone interview from Ghana, Barber said university leaders need to think about what makes their institutions special and who they serve. “I think that kind of middle universities that have nothing special about them and don’t exhibit bold imaginative leadership will suffer,” Barber said.

Other economic thinkers, including analysts at Moody’s, are also warning colleges about changes. Pearson, though, calls global education "a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

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