"Eventually, I figured it out: ABD stands for “all but dissertation,” a description of a student who has finished coursework and passed comprehensive exams, but has yet to complete and defend the doctoral thesis. Today, the Ph.D. Completion Project estimates that the ten-year completion rate (that is, someone’s status a decade after they begin) is 55–64 percent in STEM, 56 percent in the social sciences, and 49 percent in the humanities. Not all Ph.D. dropouts advance to the dissertation stage before they leave—but since the project’s charts start leveling out around Year 8 (the dissertation begins in Year 3 or 4), it’s safe to assume a hell of a lot do."

"One tactic for those colleges is to join with institutions in urban areas to encourage student exchanges, giving both sides a greater appreciation for all corners of the country. Another is to form partnerships with employers in urban areas and then build more-flexible academic schedules that allow students to spend less time on the campus while they gain work or research experience elsewhere. In other words, those colleges need to create opportunities that closely replicate what a student at the University of Southern California can already do: Take a class in the morning and intern at Sony or Time Warner in the afternoon."

""As we have a greater expectation of physical comfort, of an ability to choose what media we want to see, what sources we want to read, it does cultivate, almost inevitably, seeking intellectual comfort," says Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "You want people to agree with you. It’s part of human nature.""

"The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies "

"The separation of science and the humanities is relatively new—and detrimental to both "

"Think science always knows the whole truth? Errors are surprisingly common and many go undiscovered because they just aren’t seen as important enough, or because people take pains to hide them…"

"The comprehensive fee — generally defined as tuition, fees, room and board — is a complex combination of factors. The cost of labor can be as much as sixty percent of the college’s operating budget. Buildings, and the depreciation associated with them, add additional significant ongoing expense. And the discount applied to the largest fee — tuition — can be as much as 30-65 percent of the announced tuition sticker price. There are also payments on debt that can further diminish wiggle room."

"FEW would challenge the proposition that human capital is fundamental to economic growth. Yet much evidence suggests that during what is arguably the most important era of growth—the Industrial Revolution—human capital had little bearing on economic development. Primary school enrolment in Britain, the cradle of industrialisation, was a mere 11% as late as 1850. Scandinavia, in contrast, lagged behind economically for a long time in spite of having achieved close to full literacy at the beginning of the 19th century. In a new paper, Mara Squicciarini of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and Nico Voigtländer of the University of California, Los Angeles, attempt to resolve this conundrum by dividing human capital into two categories, one that had an impact on the Industrial Revolution and one that did not."

"A strong knowledge “suprastructure” (human and intellectual capital) is a sine qua non for the Philippines (PH) to become globally competitive. The Aquino administration cannot attain its medium-term development goals of generating mass employment and substantially reducing the country’s nagging poverty problem without an adequate supply of technical experts and skilled workers to expand and enliven the manufacturing sector. They are called for to provide knowledge-based solutions to problems to help spur rapid, sustained and inclusive economic growth. This will signal to local and foreign investors that the country’s technological innovation capacity is broad and deep."

"Yet a recent multinational study of adult literacy and numeracy skills suggests that this view is wrong. America’s schools and colleges are actually far more alike than people believe — and not in a good way. The nation’s deep education problems, the data suggest, don’t magically disappear once students disappear behind ivy-covered walls."

"While I was watching Ivory Tower, a documentary about the state of college in America that appears in select theaters this month (the movie also airs on CNN this fall), it occurred to me that of the many problems with higher education these days, not the least concerns the way we talk about it. "Efficiency," "art-history majors," "kids who graduate with $100,000 in debt," "the college bubble," the whole rhetoric of crisis and collapse: The public discourse is dominated by sound bites, one-liners, hearsay, horror stories, and a very great deal of misinformation."

"Ambitious people will always want to go to the best universities to meet each other, and the digital economy tends to favour a few large operators. The big names will be able to sell their MOOCs around the world. But mediocre universities may suffer the fate of many newspapers. Were the market for higher education to perform in future as that for newspapers has done over the past decade or two, universities’ revenues would fall by more than half, employment in the industry would drop by nearly 30% and more than 700 institutions would shut their doors. The rest would need to reinvent themselves to survive."

"For ordinary graduates, the fact that the UP summa cum laude was a rare species gave their own diplomas added value and luster. The university’s stinginess in giving out honors meant surviving UP was a feat in itself."

"What will be left of general education courses in college when the Commission on Higher Education starts reducing the GE curriculum to 36 units in 2018?"