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Wafa Hozien

What is important is to view students as having a future. We need to build stronger foundations for our students. What are we creating? A Cadre of Critical Thinkers? I got into education because I was taught that when students would graduate they would be, "productive citizens of the world". What I have learned is that not all students are motivated to be just that. I understand the business model, but I think that as educators should be asking the students what do you want to get out of your education. We should start from the ground up. Thank you Lloyd for your hard work and valuable input. Wishing you and your readers a lovely New Year.

Lloyd comments: thanks for the good comments. Indeed, part of the changing value proposition is that what students want - and need- is becoming increasingly important. That then will force changes throughout the business model.

Steve Martin

My own institution is, as are most if not all post 1992 universities in the UK, having to face up to this same challenge. In our case growth has been maintained through a restructuring of the institution and the establishment internally of a University Group approach to core business. Each part of the group (often wholly owned subsidiaries) contribute to and reinforce the university brand while each is able to concentrate upon providing a specific value proposition to a particular market, of which regional delivery, flexible part-time study provision and the more recent highly innovative 'faculty on the factory floor' development are all examples of focused 'campus space' teaching and learning delivery. The changes in the study fee arrangements in the UK for undergraduate degrees has forced institutions to carefully consider the proposition on offer to this particular group of students. The lack of attractiveness of post graduate study to home students and the reliance - some would say over reliance - on the international market for student numbers would suggest this as the next area of the business model to consider.

Lloyd comments: Thanks, Steve, for the very informative comment

Colleen Geier

This is a very real problem where I teach. Costs continue to rise for the college which usually means tuition needs to go up. With students having so many options they are reluctant to pay the high cost of a quality education unless they can see how it will benefit them in the end. One issue is some colleges continuing to do recruiting based on the old "college experience" model. Most students can't afford to just go off to college for the experience anymore.

We need to be promoting specific programs that lead to specific careers. Prospective students can then compare programs and make choices based on the value they will receive. As you pointed out, students are looking for different things and are hiring the college that can give them what they need. We do need to think about higher education from a business perspective, keeping in mind the goals of the institution but recognizing we cannot maintain the old ideals of college.

Lloyd comments: well put!

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