Last night and this morning I worked hard on climate change and higher education, writing up two book chapters and a blog post. But I’m not going to blog about that today, because the latest COVID developments are so urgent and fast-moving.

Here I’m going to outline a leaked CDC document, then point to some possibilities for higher education.

This week the Washington Post published an internal CDC Powerpoint stack and the CDC’s director admitted its authenticity. …

Posted on July 27, 2021 by Bryan Alexander

How might higher education change if society moves beyond the neoliberal order?

Scholar Chris Newfield recently published a fine set of scenarios for future colleges and universities. It is very much worth your time to explore. Here I’ll set the stage and sketch it out as an introduction.

Newfield is the great scholar of how American states have defunded public higher ed. In a series of books he has investigated the politics and economics in great detail: Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880–1980, Unmaking the Public…

For years I’ve used a certain phrase in presentations. It came up when I was describing modern demographics. I would explain how lifespans have increased in developed nations, and that more people will live longer, and then want on to explain what this meant for higher education. Then I’d pause and mention that this was likely to keep happening, unless something truly extraordinary happened. Like, say, a plague.

Now we’re in the second year of COVID-19. As I write this the pandemic has killed at least 4,109,303 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That’s at least 607,289…

Have master’s degrees become a problem?

Last week New America’s education policy leader Kevin Carey gave an interview to Slate. In it Carey and his interlocutor, Jordan Weissmann, argued that American master’s degree* programs have been corrupt and dangerous in many cases. It’s a powerful claim against one thriving part of higher education, and Carey is both smart and influential, so I’d like to explore it here.

A little background: I kicked off a Twitter discussion about the topic with a thread yesterday as well as a LinkedIn post, so I’m going to build on what I said then. I’m…

Today, July 15th, the Sunrise Movement is organizing a national action in the United States. Its aim: to pressure the Biden administration to take more serious steps about the climate crisis.

In line with that call, I’d like to pose a question about the climate crisis.

I’m reading Mark Lynas, Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency. (2021) The bo0k offers a series of visions of the world after global warming, with one chapter per degree rise by 2100. Naturally each additional degree makes things worse.

But early on the book pauses to point out a strategic choice that…

As I write this post two major crises are hitting the world in ways which bear closely on higher education’s future. Across the world very high, even extraordinarily steep temperatures are striking certain regions from Siberia to Canada, causing humanitarian and environmental damage while reminding people that the climate crisis is proceeding. At the same time colleges and universities are adjusting, amending, tweaking, or just tossing out plans for fall term operations as they track COVID-19’s potential impact during the race between vaccines and variants. Once again we cope with the overlap of coronavirus and climate change.

So I’d like…

Over the past few days three big ed tech entities made major financial moves. I was struck by that coincidence and wanted to explore what the combination might means.

ITEM: To start with, major online program manager (OPM) 2U purchased much of online class provider edX for $800 million. As part of the deal Harvard and MIT will launch a new and so far unnamed education nonprofit.

For more information, here are the official announcements from 2U, MIT, Harvard, and what seems to be the nonprofit’s placeholder, “Transforming Digital Education.” …

Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems. Humans cannot.

Every few years the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues reports on the climate crisis. These documents are hugely important for the global conversation about the topic, not least because they summarize cutting-edge science and offer policy recommendations. The most recent one, the Fifth Assessment Report (a/k/a AR5), appeared in 2014.

The next big IPCC report is due out next year sometime, yet Agence France-Presse seems to have grabbed an early draft copy.

AFP scored a world scoop…

Eight years ago Ceredwyn and I launched a business, Bryan Alexander Consulting. Which is astonishing. That’s nearly a decade. As a friend said, soon we’ll have to send BAC to college.

We’ve been very transparent about our work, sharing as much information as we can, barring legal limits and client wishes. Every year since 2013* I’ve blogged about BAC’s progress. Hopefully that gives people some insight into what we do here.

If you’re new to BAC, it’s a small consultancy focused on the future of higher education. We help clients (colleges, universities, associations, nonprofits, governments, businesses) understand and plan for…

In 2011 a group of academics published a short, provocative, and thoughtful Manifesto for Teaching Online. They updated it in 2016, and now this year MIT Press brought out their work in book form.

On June 10th the Future Trends Forum hosted two of the authors from the University of Edinburgh. Siân Bayne and Jen Ross, both part of UE’s Centre for Research in Digital Education, starred in a brilliant and transnational conversation. …

Bryan Alexander

Futurist, speaker, writer, consultant, educator. Author of the FTTE report and ACADEMIA NEXT. Creator of The Future Trends Forum.

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