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Invited Piece

Jason E. Lane, PhD

State University of New York

Higher education is going through a rapid transformation. Much has been written lately about the changing nature of our enterprise. Some are questioning the continuing value of a higher education (The Economist, 2014). Others point to the out-dated nature of the credit hour and the need to move toward more competency-based education (Fain, 2012; Berrett, 2015). State funding has largely stagnated or is in decline (Government Accountability Office, 2014). The for-profit sector is in upheaval and a number of non-profit institutions are on the cusp of financial dilemmas (Fain, 2015). Yet, the need for higher education has never been greater. Globally, demand for a college education is exploding. Some of the world’s greatest problems from climate change to water security to decaying infrastructures require the expertise of international teams of researchers. Technology is opening up new opportunities for collaboration and data innovations are providing new insights into student behavior. As a sector, higher education is emerging as a major economic driver around the world.

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