Georgetown University's Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the Milken Institute convened a roundtable discussion in March 2013 that resulted in recommendations for addressing needed changes in the structure, costs, and financing of higher education. Three challenges drive the need for change within the current landscape of higher education:
• Increasing Tuition, Costs, and Student Debt
• Changing Student Demographics
• Growing Workforce Skills Mismatch
Although participants largely agreed that traditional colleges and universities provide students with a valuable and meaningful education, most also believed that alternative higher education models should be promoted as viable and potentially more affordable options for providing students with skills they need to be competitive in the modern global economy.
The purpose of the roundtable, held in Washington, D.C., was to provide a setting for a diverse group of stakeholders to exchange ideas, pose and debate differing views, and identify promising ideas to address these challenges.
Ultimately, no silver-bullet solution exists that will reshape higher education and curb costs in a way that satisfies student, employer, and national interests. But positive change can result from the aggregation of a number of innovative ideas and initiatives. To this end, the roundtable yielded a number of observations and proposed next steps for improving the relevance and affordability of higher education in the United States.