Faced with declining support from the state, public university programs are trying to go it alone. Now the business school at UCLA, one of California’s premier universities, is going private (though the school prefers the term “self-supporting”). The school hopes to rely on private contributions and higher tuition. Inside Higher Ed reports:
[T]he change at the Los Angeles full-time M.B.A. program is believed to be first time an existing UC program has been converted to self-supporting. Graduate programs at top publics in other states, including the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, have already made a similar move, though. […]Only about 18 percent of the business school’s funding came from the state in recent years. In the future, only 4 percent will, none of it for the M.B.A. program, according to the university. The deal requires the Anderson School to pay UCLA on prorated basis for overhead, including maintenance. […]Even though California’s budget picture has improved, UCLA administrators are not optimistic about long-term trends that show a decline in state support as a percent of the campus budget.
They aren’t the only ones waxing pessimistic. As the Economist noted in its recent overview of the sea change in higher ed, public colleges and universities throughout the United States have seen state funding drop in recent years. Institutions have been hiking tuition in response and may soon rely more on fees than on public support. Meanwhile, the MOOC revolution is taking off, though it hasn’t yet caused a large-scale disruption. We think the Economist calls it:
Since the first wave of massive online courses launched in 2012, a backlash has focused on their failures and commercial uncertainties. Yet if critics think they are immune to the march of the MOOC, they are almost certainly wrong. Whereas online courses can quickly adjust their content and delivery mechanisms, universities are up against serious cost and efficiency problems, with little chance of taking more from the public purse.
We recommend you read the whole thing (though it’s paywalled). For the same magazine’s optimistic take on the future of higher education, with which we agree, go here.