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University Presidents From Two Continents Offer Recommendations for the Future

July 26, 2011


University presidents representing countries across Europe, the United States and Canada may encounter different cultures, governments and students, but they all agree on one thing: Higher education institutions are facing turbulent times, according to a new essay from ACE.

Higher Education in Tumultuous Times: A Transatlantic Dialogue on Facing Market Forces and Promoting the Common Good is based on the discussions of 30 college and university leaders at the 12th Transatlantic Dialogue, held in June 2010. According to participants, some of the most prevalent challenges facing higher education today center on adapting to changing and increasing demands from governments and diverse student bodies. These demands are complicated by issues of public distrust as well as the ever-evolving climate of global politics and the economy. New technologies change just as rapidly, and institutions must constantly adapt to stay on the cutting-edge.

"This essay does an excellent job summing up the thoughts of some of the sharpest leaders in higher education from Europe, Canada and the United States," said Barbara Hill, senior associate for internationalization at ACE and a co-author of the report, along with Kevin Kinser at the State University of New York at Albany. "The notion that we share the same concerns across national borders gave us a powerful opportunity to develop common solutions."

The report includes an agenda for higher education moving forward and calls on college and university leaders to:

  • Develop the next generation of leaders;
  • Create new funding models for the 21st century, and in particular, seek sources outside of government;
  • Recruit faculty with diverse skills who are ready to respond to societal needs and workforce demands rather than simply focus on their own discipline;
  • Develop multi-directional leadership rather than traditional top-down models;
  • Value imagination and creativity; and
  • Address economic and environmental sustainability.

The Transatlantic Dialogue will convene again in 2012.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ginnie Titterton ▪ 202-939-9368 ▪

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