Monday, April 6, 2015

Why Universities Alone Aren't Going to Save Your Economy

The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 6th, 2015

Economic engine. Powerhouse. Transformative force.
Today, college after college, urban and rural, from the tiniest liberal-arts institution to the sprawling research university, is pitching itself as a driver of economic revitalization, its region’s greatest competitive asset. Universities’ very presence, the rhetoric seems to suggest, can spur a metamorphosis from decaying factory town to 21st-century knowledge hub.
At a time when the dominant narrative casts the value of college in purely personal terms — an advantage that accrues to the individual graduate — the economic-development pitch comes off as refreshingly retrograde, a throwback. It posits the university as a benefit to the broader community, not just the collegegoer. It’s one last go at the public-good case for higher education.

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