Hillary On Higher Ed

Career College Central summary:

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, a likely presidential candidate in 2016, has outlined a vision for higher education globally and in the United States that would focus more on the disadvantaged and those who need postsecondary training, but not necessarily a four-year degree. Clinton, the former secretary of state, senator and first lady, spoke at the Globalization of Higher Education conference organized by Academic Partnerships, which recently unveiled a "Specializations" initiative in which academic programs from American colleges will be translated and offered online in countries worldwide where English is not the primary language.
  • In her review of the needs of higher education in the developing world, Clinton strongly endorsed the idea of partnerships between American colleges and universities and their counterparts in other countries, and of online education. But she cautioned that new approaches to higher education may be needed at home and abroad, and that there may be limits (at least today) on the quality of online education.
  • She said that American society "needs to reorient our social expectations and the signals we send" about the value associated with different kinds of degrees. She said that it is time to "redefine higher education" so that more see the value of non-bachelor's-degree programs. "Just because a job requires certain technical skills and not a bachelor's degree" should not lead to a devaluing of those jobs or the relevant training, she said.
  • On online education, Clinton spoke of its potential, but without quite the enthusiasm of some of the other speakers here (such as MOOC proponent Tom Friedman) and with caveats that one doesn't typically hear from the technophile Obama administration. She talked about the potential of online education to provide the best American education to students who might never come to the United States. But she said that as of March 2014, there is “no substitute for the kind of learning that takes place in a well-taught classroom."
  • Clinton said that online education could provide the kinds of "world-class" education currently available in Cambridge, Mass., or Cambridge, England, elsewhere, but she quickly added "but it has to be a world-class education…. We must have a system of accountability." Online education, Clinton added, can "open doors" for many students, and may offer as high quality an education as anything in some fields or for some students.

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