Spring 2013 - 62615 - PA680PB - Policy Research Project
Higher Education Productivity
Policymakers and the general public are increasingly aware that the economic vitality and competitive position of our communities, states, and nation will depend heavily on higher education. We cannot compete merely in terms of the numbers of postsecondary qualifications awarded, however. Texas and the United States must compete in terms of the quality of those qualifications, to ensure that we will have the engineers, entrepreneurs, and leaders we will need to devise innovative solutions to complex challenges. Yet, even as the demand for postsecondary education continues to increase, we must recognize that large infusions of public funds into American colleges and universities are unlikely for the foreseeable future. Federal spending has become a significant public concern, and every state faces long-term structural deficits. A number of policy options have recently been proposed to increase college completion rates while improving the return on existing investments. Can the costs of higher education be contained without sacrificing program quality?