Commentary: Selective Pressures Affecting Global Higher Education in 2014

[The following are original comments from me initially published in response to an internal social network post at Ashford University by a colleague discussing changes and innovations in higher education as an industry.]

“I agree that things appear dismal from some perspectives about the future of the higher education system as we know it, but just as with so many other industries have recalibrated, so too shall we in what Harvard University’s Dr. Elmore called the “Learning Sector” (in “Leaders of Learning” Harvard MOOC in 2014). The Learning Sector as we know it is evolving due to numerous, well, in scientific terms, numerous selective pressures – it is a process of natural change and selections where the most adaptive institutions and organizations will survive in the altered ecosystem of learning we’ve created as a society and world…”


“…educated consumers are perhaps the most powerful and empowered “selective pressure” forcing the evolutionary path and adaptations in our industry within the Learning Sector, indeed; just as automotive consumers (and all commercial goods consumers, really) are now more informed due to the widening access to information about goods and services via the internet; that has forced adaptations in the way common goods are bought, sold, and distributed, so too does the educated consumer of the uncommon “good” of a higher education (uncommon, in a global sense) force adaptations in our industry….”

Do you agree with my assertions? Disagree? Do you have comments, questions?