The Higher Education Bubble

Reynolds, a libertarian law professor and the creator of the blog Instapundit, takes on the crisis of the American academy. Rising tuitions, cuts in state funding for public universities, and the growth of outsourcing and automation in white-collar professions are driving significant changes in higher education. Law schools are on the frontlines: as traditional legal work is increasingly outsourced or performed by computers, demand for lawyers is falling, and many lower-tier law schools face declining or even collapsing enrollments. It is difficult to make generalizations about U.S. higher education, a complex social institution that includes everything from world-famous, deep-pocketed research universities to small vocational institutes and community colleges. Nevertheless, Reynolds’ core argument seems correct: social and technological changes are pushing higher education toward dramatic changes, including universities -- and individual professors -- offering classes over the Internet. Smart academics will begin to prepare now for this transformation.

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