Phi Beta Cons

The Mysterious Gale of Creative Destruction

A market researcher once said about forecasts: “People generally overestimate the change that will occur in ten years but underestimate the change that will occur in twenty.” That is because innovation moves in directions that people simply don’t expect, and once a completely new direction is taken, the sky is the limit for what lies ahead.

Thus, even though it is likely that higher education will look different in the next decade, the actual innovations that will take hold are unfathomable. 

All we can do is watch the experimentation. Jay Schalin describes one of the more ambitious experiments, “The Minerva Project,” which would combine the web and classes, take place all over the world, and be designed for top students (that is, it would compete against Harvard). He is intrigued, but he also outlines the uncertainties.

Jane S. ShawJane S. Shaw retired as president of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy in 2015. Before joining the Pope Center in 2006, Shaw spent 22 years in ...


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