By Wilfred M. McClay
Over a long teaching career, I have seen a lot of change in our colleges and universities—some of it good, but much of it not. In the not-good category I would put the decline of our commitment to educate our young people for American citizenship.
Those of us old enough to remember the 1970s recall the crisis higher education was then facing. The stupendous growth of colleges and universities in the post-World War II-era was coming to an end and the future looked grim.
But American higher education did not curl up and die. It didn’t even shrink. Instead, it maintained and added to its bulk, including a steadily growing flow of foreign students (more on them later).
It did what businesses always do when supply outstrips demand: it found, exploited, and even created new markets for its goods, meaning new students.
The resulting gains in access to higher education and genuine diversity in the student body have on balance been a real advance. But our redefinition of higher education has also presented us with certain dilemmas, and these must be faced up to. CONTINUE READING HERE