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That Was The (Policy) Year That Was, 2011

In 2011, EDUCAUSE Policy worked closely with campus constituents, federal agencies, and Congressional staff; collaborated with other higher ed and IT associations; and partnered with other EDUCAUSE groups and programs on issues including

  • Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities,
  • Accountability,
  • E-Learning,
  • Intellectual Property,
  • Networking and Telecommunications, and
  • Privacy and Security.

If you're interested, learn more about the issues capturing our attention and our activities this past year in this look back at 2011.


   When I had begun my studies in higher education, my perception of higher education changed. I once look at attending college as a place where I could earn a degree and socialize with others. My first experience attending higher learning classes was at a community college. I was not very serious about my studies, so I only acquired little knowledge. Only when I enter the universities did I look at attending college and earning a degree in a different manner. As I progress within higher education, I have learned and study how others also view higher education while earning a college degree.

   I have learned that higher education is becoming another of the world’s global industries as shown by the increase number of students who are studying at colleges and universities outside of their own countries. 

        What is the future of higher education? The future of higher education,  around the world is grappling with what is referred to as the” autonomy-accountability trade off.” In country after country, academic and political leaders have been crafting policies that provide the opportunity and the incentive for institution to become more autonomous and entrepreneurial while holding institutions more accountable for performance.

   How we use and view higher education is our own concern but many individuals have used higher education to improve the quality of life and to provide for their family a better income; to increase knowledge and understanding in becoming a productive citizen within society.

    The United States education system is still the best in the world, but there is room for improvement. The goal must be to create a system that elevates teaching and learning to a high level, to at least the same status as research and publishing. The system must ensure that a degree or certificate means the student is not only more knowledge than when he or she entered higher education but can also think     

     critically, apply concepts across disciplines to solve complex problems, work effectively with others, and continue to learn how to learn. 

     Education reform issues will shape the future of higher education. A large number of changes are happening impacting the institutions and higher education.

     Public, private and for –profit institutions alike are competing to attract students in ways and with an intensity never seen before, using financial aid, advertising, and campus amenities . There have been large growths in the number for- profit universities and colleges, the degree they give, and the acceptance of their degree by students and employers

    Thousands of virtual programs are growing rapidly, altering the way many students attend college and how classes are deliver as new forms emerge.

  Corporate universities and certificate programs are wide spread, in some fields becoming the preparation preferred by employers.

        New organizations forms are emerging and for the first time higher education has gone global

     Today there are many factors impacting higher education; from the federal government to the legal system and courts decisions of all kinds directly affect higher education

  As I think critically about my perceptions of higher learning institution; I am learning new ideals and gaining knowledge.     I am now looking at higher education as a new world and overwhelming challenge, better financial move for interesting career options.   In higher education, an individual can learn more about the world and people in it and at the same time experience new beginnings.



  Now as the nation enters the 21st century, universities are subject to the pressure of society. From the economic factor, academics institutions with few exceptions constantly face financial challenges.  Even the most wealthy, depends on external elements for financial survival including tuition payments provided by students and their families. Other depends on funds from the government for operating expense research and training grants and contracts form a range of external agencies. Once higher

   education was seen as public good; an investment in human capital that, in the long run benefited society as well as the individual and is there for worth of public support, however, academic study is viewing higher education as a private good. It is something that mainly benefits the individual and should be paid for by the individual.

 These social and economic and political factors have led to the issues of student learning and graduation. Many states are not releasing funds to support higher education and tuition charges have been raised. Students and their families are paying a higher proportion of the cost of higher education than from the past. Due to these issues, students are concern and burden with the financial problems of paying for tuition and these issues has also affected their learning abilities and graduation.