If the future of higher education is internet based, why are so many colleges spending massive amounts of money on new construction projects?
The College Fix reports.
Opinion: Time to Stop the College Construction Boom
Over the past ten years, many American universities have undertaken multimillion-dollar construction projects to expand their physical space. All part of the thinking that physical growth of classroom space would be needed to accommodate a growing student population. But what if the future of higher ed looks quite different? What if learning takes place primarily online in the future?
University leaders may soon find that they have wasted vast sums of money on physical space that has become obsolete–so argues Thomas K. Lindsay, Director of the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy:
As state legislatures across the country begin to entertain the annual requests by state colleges and universities for new construction funding, their members need to look beyond the immediate electoral cycle and take the longer view on the likely need, or lack thereof, of new construction for higher-education classroom buildings. Specifically, they need to ask whether, in the years that transpire between legislative approval, contract bidding, excavation, and completion of the new classroom structure – roughly three to four years – there will be any students to occupy the envisioned halls.
A sober examination of the growth in enrollment in online college courses suggests that caution is called for before we confidently declare the next new-classroom building project shovel-ready. For the last nine years, the Babson Survey Research Group, in collaboration with the College Board, has tracked online learning through surveys of over 2,500 academic leaders across the country. Its latest survey testifies that online learning has skyrocketed in the last decade.
Opinion: Time to Stop the College Construction Boom (The College Fix)