ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

Higher Education Isn’t Meeting the Public’s Needs

April 2005 by Frank Newman, Lara Couturier, & Jamie Scurry

Shifting demographics, the movement from an industrial- to a knowledge-based economy, and advanced communication and technology, have heightened demands on our colleges to enroll more students and impart more knowledge and skills. In doing so, however, higher education has focused on a form of competition based not on improving graduate skills and knowledge, but on institutional prestige and revenues, eroding the longstanding compact that governs the relationship between higher education and society. In this essay, the authors propose a renewal of that compact and identify seven critical areas in which the growing gap between the public's need and the performance of colleges and universities calls for new thinking.