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What are the top crucial issues in higher education that need to be fixed urgently?

I know that there are some obvious problems, like lack of access to higher education by children from underprivileged homes and limited higher education funding from state governments. It is true that there are aspects about our education systems that are twisted and need to be fixed immediately in order to offer the current and future generations a better education. However, I would like to know some other issues in higher education that demand urgent attention, especially when it comes to special education degree programs. Furthermore, I would like to get a deeper insight into how these issues are crucial in inhibiting the progress in our institutions of higher learning.

Carlton Burgess

in Higher Education

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Bethany Evans on January 23, 2018

A new position recently opened up in our school district education board. I applied for the position and the interview was the most intriguing one that I have ever encountered in my entire life. A board member asked me, “If you can do a three-minute elevator speech on higher education issues, what would you name as the most crucial challenges facing higher learning?” Here is my response and your answer as well.

Minimal graduation rates across the nation. Whereas American and European countries are among the top well-educated nations, graduation rates are still very low. In fact in America alone, the number of people between the ages of 24 and 35 that can access higher education has fallen within the past five years. What’s wrong? The national graduation rate has fallen to less than 60 percent. If we could graduate even a third of drop outs, we’d be making progress towards a well educated society. Also, low graduation rates imply that we are spending millions on children who quit school and even more millions to recruit and educate more students who quit learning at an earlier stage. With these lower graduation rates, some nations are competing at a disadvantaged position and the people’s dreams have not been restored.

High standards for higher education institutions have not been set. Stakeholders ought to take an initiative to reform higher learning while at the same time taking into consideration the widely varying resources and missions all colleges and universities. Currently, there is a plethora of criteria: student satisfaction, recruitment of first and low-income generation young individuals, graduation rates, praise from accreditors, jobs for grads, a good bond rating, low student loan default rates, special education degree programs, strong financial statement and research quality. However, many of these aspects conflict a lot and there should be a clear-cut distinction as to which can be applied to which institutions.

There is minimal funding in higher education. The areas that are underfunded include student loans, student scholarships, research and underpayments for infrastructural renovations in most colleges. It is hard for institutions to pay for all the necessary upgrades without entering into debts that unhinge their bond rating. Most budgets strain to cover maintenance. On the other hand, donors detest giving for fixer-uppers and even with the low interest rates, borrowing seems to be a risky option.

Tad Fraziera year ago

I agree that there are challenges facing our higher institution of learning. Poor reforms, unregulated policies, low accreditation rates and other crucial educational pillars needed to propel higher education need to be checked. Most of us have gone through these educational systems and we have emerged as responsible people in the society. Nonetheless, there is so much that still needs to be done now and in future. We need to check on student loans, make college education affordable to every child, increase funding to develop institutional infrastructure, curb drop-out rates and target at enhancing graduate rates.

If we adequately improve the standards of our higher learning education, I believe we can promote our graduation rates from below 60 percent to over 80 percent within five years. Stakeholders should focus on diversifying the number of special education degree courses and make education accessible to as many. With such reform, America can soon rise to be a global leader in academics and industrialization.


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