We here at Pileus have written a fair amount on both the future of higher education (for example, see here, here, here, and here) and ObamaCare. A few interesting recent pieces dealing with both are worthy of attention:
1. The number of problems – predictable and otherwise – with ObamaCare continue to mount. Here we get word that Universal Orlando is going to drop its health insurance coverage for part-time employees. Other companies are doing so as well. I’d like to think that the architects of the plan were ignorant rather than evil – but that is hard to sustain. Instead, it seems like this is a backdoor to more and more dependency on government and ultimately a single-payer system. I was convinced at the time that ObamaCare passed through the legislature that it was a trojan horse but my more liberal friends thought I was being paranoid. Then again, they always do (thanks Dick Hofstadter).
And earlier in the week we saw this interesting graphic on French employment that suggests that ObamaCare will also cause employers to avoid hiring that 50th worker. File it under institutions matter.
2. We also saw this week that there might be some trouble with MOOCs (HT: KPC). I guess we don’t need to send Michael Sandel our resumes for low paying “grader” jobs just yet.
Pileus friend Damon Linker has been less pessimistic than some of our bloggers about the future of higher education. Here he comments on one of Marc’s pieces. Damon followed our discussion at Pileus with this piece for The Week (though I wish he had given Jason and Marc some quotation/citation love in his article even though he disagrees with them). A snippet:
In the coming years, high-cost/low-status schools will undoubtedly have a hard time, and some will surely go under. But nowhere close to half of traditional brick-and-mortar colleges will be driven out of business by MOOCs. Elites and aspiring elites at home and abroad will continue to pay a premium for a traditional education (and credential) from American universities. Meanwhile, schools that jump on the digital bandwagon and begin offering second-tier online degrees to those who could otherwise never attend an American college in person will contribute in a potentially revolutionary way to the dissemination of knowledge around the globe. They will also succeed in further enhancing their own status while tapping a potentially massive new revenue stream. (Small fees multiplied by millions add up fast.)
Creative? Absolutely. Destruction? Not so much.