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Introducing the Ex4EDU.Report
Exploring topics of excellence in higher education
Welcome to the Ex4EDU.Report!
This report will explore topics of excellence in higher education.
What is excellence in higher education?
First, let’s debunk a few of the misdirected ideas about excellence in higher education.
An all-to-common notion is an idea that excellence equates to exclusivity. In other words, the more exclusive the institution the higher the quality. Such an idea is essentially rooted in nostalgia and out of step with today’s reality of the needs for higher education.
For example, in the U.S. around 3% of the population in 1920 attained a bachelor’s degree. By 2019 that figure was nearly 36% and increasing (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019). Limiting our notions of excellence to an entitled few is not in line with the realities of the 21st Century.
Of the nearly 20 million students in U.S. higher education in 2019, the Pew Institute estimates only 3.4% are in institutions with highly competitive admissions or what could be considered “exclusive”. It makes little sense to say that excellence does not exist for the 96 out of 100 students attending all other institutions.
Another idea equates excellence to transactional customer delight. Such concepts often rely on customer satisfaction measures such as net promoter scores, which are often better suited for sales and services transactions. For tuition-dependent institutions, excellence can mean little more than enrolling and keeping students to capture tuition fees. At residential institutions, excellence as customer delight can translate into the idea of a need for facilities like a resort.
Excellence is often equated with awards and accreditation collection. Business schools commonly advertise being excellent through receiving three accreditations, often called a triple crown. The problem is that collecting awards for the sake of awards does not clearly deliver student excellence.
These ideas of excellence have a lack of focus on student success, which should be front and center.
Student success as the focus
In this report, we will examine higher education excellence across a range of topics but always with the optic of student success. This idea of success is not at a single point in time, through a single interaction, and is a complex journey over time.
Perhaps a good analogy of student success is one related to me by a leading graduate school director in France. Her concept was that excellence is like a ray of light hitting a prism.
The input is a single beam but the outcome is an array of colors and perspectives. The simple analogy would see success as an opening of perspectives, finding new opportunities, and a brighter and more enriching future.
About the Ex4EDU.Report
This report is offered as a free-of-charge contribution by Lone Tree Academics, LLC, a company focused on enabling excellence in higher education. Our services are focused around excellence through focused market knowledge and strategies, Learningscapes™ built on solid curriculum and assessment foundations and implementing excellence at the department and institutional level.
For more information visit www.ltacademics.com