Atlas219 Higher Education Policy

HigherEdPolicy2Atlas course syllabus

This course outline covers the key challenges in higher education policy today, focusing particularly on Canada and the United States. It looks at how higher education has evolved, with a combination of public and private interests and institutions. It covers the role of higher education in signaling and sorting, and the impact of selectivity on inequality. It examines the architecture and purpose of tuition and financial assistance, and the structure of systems of higher education, and how to help all systems succeed. It reviews the impact of higher education and research on economic and social development. The course outline examines the challenges of controlling costs, including compensation costs, and how higher education institutions are assessed and account for their performance. It looks at issues of university governance and academic freedom and ends with a look at recent technological developments and the implications of this and other trends on the policy environment for higher education.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to be able to critically discuss the topics and concepts below.

Normed topics

The topics are normed in having a volume of content capable of being taught in one course-week of instruction – nominally 3 hours of in-class work and 7 hours of outside-class reading.

  1. The History of Higher Education: Public Policy and the Division of Responsibilities
  2. The Public Interest and the Private Interest in Higher Education
  3. Selectivity, Sorting, and Inequality in Higher Education
  4. Tuition, Accessibility and Financial Assistance: Architecture and Purpose
  5. Helping All Students Succeed in Higher Education
  6. The Structure of Higher Education as Public Policy
  7. Higher Education’s Impact on Economic Development: Human Capital, Innovation and Research
  8. Higher Education’s Impact on Social Development: Social Capital and Disparities in Income and Opportunity
  9. Cost Control and Compensation in Higher Education
  10. Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education: Quality Measurement, Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance
  11. Governments and University Governance: Academic Freedom and the Public Interest
  12. Technology and the Changing Policy Environment for Higher Education

Like other normed topics on the Atlas, each of these has a topic description, links to core concepts relevant to the topic, learning outcomes, a reading list drawn from available course syllabi, and a series of assessment questions.

Concepts to be learned
Academic Freedom

Accreditation

Division of Labour and Specialization

Disruptive Innovation

Differentiation

Education as Consumption

Job Market Signaling

Merit Good

Mission Creep

Pareto Efficient Allocations

Path Dependency

Performance Reporting

Policy Window

Political Culture

Positional Good

Principal-Agent Problem

Productivity in the Public Sector

Human Capital

Provider Capture

Quality Assessment

Quality Assurance

Returns to Education

Staton’s Unbundling Higher Education Framework

Veblen Good

Course syllabi sources

This course outline is synthesized from actual courses on the Atlas and supplemented by material from the editors. The three courses used to synthesize this outline were:

  • Tackling the Toughest Challenges in Modern American Higher Education,” taught at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013-14 by Richard Light, Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Higher Education Policy,” taught at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School on Public Policy in 2011-12 by Michael Atkinson, former Executive Director of the School and Provost of the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Higher Education and Society,” taught in 2014-15 at Carleton’s School of Public Policy and Administration by Adjunct Research Professor Edward Jackson.
Recommended readings

Week 1: The History of Higher Education: Public Policy and the Division of Responsibilities

Ian D. Clark, “Public Policy Thinking and the Challenges in Canadian Higher Education,” Keynote Address to the 45th Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE), Ottawa, May 31, 2015.

Clark, I.D., G. Moran, M.L. Skolnick and D. Trick. Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario. Kingston/Montreal: Queen’s Policy Studies Series, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009. HEQCO summary at: http://www.heqco.ca/en-CA/Research/Research%20Publications/Pages/Summary.aspx?link=28, accessed 5 June 2015. For additional background on the book, see the website www.academictransformation.ca.

Derek C. Bok. Higher Education in America, Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 2015. Introduction available at: http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/i10480.pdf (accessed 5 June 2015).

Week 2: The Public Interest and the Private Interest in Higher Education

World Bank, Task Force on Higher Education, Higher Education in Developing Countries, Peril and Promise. 2000. Chapter 2: Higher Education and the Public Interest (pages 17-45). Full report at http://www.tfhe.net/report/downloads/report/whole.pdf (accessed 5 June 2015).

Roger King, Presentation to the All-Parliamentary Group: Private Higher Education,Private Gain or Public Interest? 2009. (At https://www.open.ac.uk/cheri/documents/roger-king-presentation.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

DeClou, L. (2014). Social Returns: Assessing the benefits of higher education. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/@Issue%20Social%20Returns.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Week 3: Selectivity, Sorting, and Inequality in Higher Education

Matthew O’Brien, ‘The Great Gatsby Curve’: Why It’s So Hard for the Poor to Get Ahead, The Atlantic, June 18, 2013.

Josh Freedman, Why American Colleges are Becoming a Force for Inequality, The Atlantic, May 16, 2013.

Kevin Carey, How to Raise a University’s Profile: Pricing and Packaging, The New York Times, February 6, 2015.

Caroline Hoxby and Christopher Avery, The Missing “One-Offs”: The Hidden Supply of Higher-Achieving Low-Income Students, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2013.

George Scialabba, Class and the Classroom: How Elite Universities are Hurting America, Foreign Affairs, March/April 2015.

Nicholas LeMann, The Great Sorting, The Atlantic, September 1995.

Nicholas LeMann, The Structure of Success in America, The Atlantic, September 1995.

Michael Mumper. 2003. “The Future of Public Access: The Declining Role of Public Higher Education in Promoting Equal Opportunity,” Annals of the American Academy 585: 97‐117.

Week 4: Tuition, Accessibility and Financial Assistance: Architecture and Purpose

Norrie, K., Zhao, H. (2011). Tuition Fee Options for Ontario. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/At-Issue-8-Accessibility-ENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Norrie, K. & Lennon M.C. (2011). An Overview of PSE Accessibility in Ontario. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/AtIssueTuitionENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Finnie, R., Childs, S., & Wismer, A. (2011). Access to Postsecondary Education: How Ontario Compares. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/AccessENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Finnie, R., Childs, S., & Wismer, A. (2011). Under-Represented Groups in Postsecondary Education in Ontario: Evidence from the Youth in Transition Survey. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/UnderRepdGroupsENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Ross Finnie, Alex Usher and Hans Vossensteyn. 2005. “Meeting the Need: A New Architecture for Canada’s Student Financial Aid System”, in Beach et. al. eds. Higher Education in Canada. Montreal: McGill‐Queen’s Press.

Finnie, R., Childs, S., & Wismer, A. (2011). Under-Represented Groups in Postsecondary Education in Ontario: Evidence from the Youth in Transition Survey. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/UnderRepdGroupsENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Ross Finnie, Alex Usher and Hans Vossensteyn. 2005. “Meeting the Need: A New Architecture for Canada’s Student Financial Aid System”, in Beach et. al. eds. Higher Education in Canada. Montreal: McGill‐Queen’s Press.

Jo Blanden and Stephen J. Machin. 2004. “Educational Inequality and the Expansion of UK Higher Education,” Scottish Journal of Bruce Chapman and Chris Ryan. 2005. “The Access Implications of Income‐Contingent Charges for Higher Education: Lessons from Australia,” Economics of Education Review 24: 491‐512.

David Greenaway and Michelle Haynes. 2003. “Funding Higher Education in the UK: The Role of Fees and Loans,” The Economic Journal 113: 150‐166.

Week 5: Helping All Students Succeed in Higher Education

Deller, F. & Oldford, S. (2011). Participation of Low-Income Students in Ontario. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/en-CA/Research/Research%20Publications/Pages/Summary.aspx?link=182, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Wiggers, R. & Arnold, C. (2011). Defining, Measuring and Achieving “Student Success” in Ontario Colleges and Universities. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (Accessed http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/AtIssueStudent%20Success%20ENG.pdf, 5 June 2015.)

Lennon, M. C. (2010). Encouraging Participation: Trends in Pathways to Postsecondary Education. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/Paper1ENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Norrie, K. and Lin, S. (2009). Postsecondary Educational Attainment and Participation in Ontario. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/AttainmentENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Week 6: The Structure of Higher Education as Public Policy

“Provincial government must adopt more active role in system planning” April 4, 2013. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/en-CA/Research/Research%20Publications/Pages/Summary.aspx?link=168, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Advice on the benefits of greater differentiation of Ontario’s university sector, October 26, 2010. Harvey P. Weingarten, President & CEO and Fiona Deller, Research Director, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)

Week 7: Higher Education’s Impact on Economic Development: Human Capital, Innovation and Research

Arthur Sweetman. 2002. Working Smarter: Education and Productivity. A chapter in The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity, 2002, vol. 2 from Centre for the Study of Living Standards. (At http://www.csls.ca/repsp/2/arthursweetman.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

David Shaffer and David Wright, 2010. A New Paradigm for Economic Development: How Higher Education Institutions Are Working to Revitalize their Regional and State Economies (at http://www.rockinst.org/pdf/education/2010-03-18-A_New_Paradigm.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015).

Alison Bramwell and David Wolfe. 2008. “Universities and Regional Economic Development: The Entrepreneurial University of Waterloo,” Research Policy 37: 1175‐1187.

Ammon Salter and Ben R. Martin. 2001. “The Economic Benefits of Publicly Funded Basic Research: A Critical Review,” Research Policy 30: 509‐32.

Julian Betts and Carolyn Lee. 2005. “Universities as Drivers of Regional and National Innovation,” in Beach et. al. eds., Higher Education in Canada Montreal: McGill‐Queen’s Press.

Week 8: Higher Education’s Impact on Social Development: Social Capital and Disparities in Income and Opportunity

Michael Mumper. 2003. “The Future of Public Access: The Declining Role of Public Higher Education in Promoting Equal Opportunity,” Annals of the American Academy 585: 97‐117.

Ian D. Clark, “Recent Research on the Benefits of University for Marginal Students: Implications for Ontario’s Enrollment Planning,” Public Policy and Governance Review, November 29, 2012.

Brand, Jennie E. and Yu Xie. (2010). “Who Benefits Most from College? Evidence for Negative Selection in Heterogeneous Economic Returns to Higher Education.” American Sociological Review, 75(2): 185-204. See pdf at: http://personal.psc.isr.umich.edu/yuxie-web/files/working-papers/Brand-Xie-edu.pdf

Hout, Michael. (2012). “Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States.” Annual Review of Sociology, 38:379-400. See pdf at: http://www.aequalis.cl/wp-content/uploads/Hout-ARSeduc-2012.pdf

Charles Murray, “Are Too Many People Going to College?” The American (American Enterprise Institute), September 8, 2008.

George Fallis, Ontario doesn’t need three new campuses, Toronto Star, March 5, 2012.

Week 9: Cost Control and Compensation in Higher Education

Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (2012). The Productivity of the Ontario Public Postsecondary System Preliminary Report. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/HEQCO%20Productivity%20Report.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Ian D. Clark, “What can fiscally constrained governments to do improve undergraduate education?” Mowat Analysis and Opinion, November 11, 2011.

Ian D. Clark and Ben Eisen, “Frugal Public Management Principles for an Era of Restraint,” Policy Options, Vol. 31, No. 9, October 2010, pp. 67-71.

Ian D. Clark, “A taxpayer view of university funding, or Steve and Di’s evening on the Internet,” University Affairs (Online Edition), March 8, 2010.

Week 10: Assessment and Accountability in Higher Education: Quality Measurement, Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance

Christensen Hughes, Julia and Mighty, Joy (eds) (2010). Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. McGill-Queen’s University Press. Summary available at: http://www.heqco.ca/en-CA/Research/Research%20Publications/Pages/Summary.aspx?link=29, accessed 5 June 2015.

Educational Policy Institute. (2008). Producing Indicators of Institutional Quality in Ontario Universities and Colleges: Options for Producing, Managing and Displaying Comparative Data. Toronto: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. (At http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/Producing%20Indicators%20ENG.pdf, accessed 5 June 2015.)

Sarah E. Turner. “Measuring College Success: Evidence and Policy Challenges.” Chapter in College Success: What It Means and How to Make it Happen. Edited by Michael McPherson and Morton Schapiro. The College Board. 2008.

Simon Marginson and Marijk van der Wendt. 2007. “To Rank or be Ranked: The Impact of Global Rankings in Higher Education” Journal of Studies in International Education 11 (3/4): 304‐329.

William Bruneau and Donald C. Savage. 2002. Counting Out the Scholars: The Case Against Performance Indicators in Higher Education. Toronto: Lorimer, chs. 2 and 7.

Paul Hare. 2003. “The United Kingdom’s Research Assessment Exercise: Impact on Institutions, Departments, Individuals,” Higher Education Management and Policy 15: 43‐62.Paul Axelrod. 2002. Values in Conflict: The University, the Marketplace, and the Trials of Liberal Education. Montreal: McGill‐Queen’s University Press, ch. 4.

Week 11: Governments and University Governance: Academic Freedom and the Public Interest

Glen Jones, Teresa Shanahan and Paul Goyan. 2001 “University Governance in Canadian Higher Education,” Tertiary Education and Management 7: 135‐148.

David Cameron. 1991. More Than an Academic Question: Universities, Governments and Public Policy in Canada. Halifax: IRPP, chs.1, 6, and 10.

Ian D. Clark, “Different Pipers, Different Tunes: In tough financial times, how do we pay the bill for free inquiry?” A review of Selling Out: Academic Freedom and the Corporate Market, by Howard Woodhouse, Literary Review of Canada, April 2010.

Paul Axelrod. 2002. Values in Conflict: The University, the Marketplace, and the Trials of Liberal Education. Montreal: McGill‐Queen’s University Press, ch. 4.

Stanley Fish. 2008. Save the World on Your Own Time. New York: Oxford. Chs. 1 and 2.

Louis Menand. 1996. The Future of Academic Freedom. Chicago: Chicago University Press, ch 1.

Thomas L. Haskell. 1997. Objectivity is Not Neutrality. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, ch. 7, “Justifying Academic Freedom.”

Michiel Horn. 2000. “The ‘Wood Beyond’: Reflections on Academic Freedom Past and Present,” Canadian Journal of Higher Education 30: 157‐164.

Donald Kennedy. 1997. Academic Duty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ch. 1

Week 12: Technology and the Changing Policy Environment for Higher Education

Kevin Kinser and Barbara A. Hill. 2011. Higher Education in Tumultuous Times. American Council on Education. Washington.

William G. Bowen. Technology and Productivity in Higher Education (2013, Princeton Univ. Press).

Nathan Harden. “The End of the University as we Know It. The American Interest Magazine. Feb., 2013.

Lawrence Bacow. “Presentation to the Teagle Foundation Convening on the future of Learning at Different Colleges and Universities. Spring, 2013. See: http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/barriers-adoption-online-learning-systems-us-higher-education

Sample assessment questions

TO COME

Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 26 May 2016.

Image: LabourList.org at http://labourlist.org/2015/09/where-next-for-labours-higher-education-policy/, accessed 26 May 2016.