US: Steep hill to climb

There is widespread alignment among politicians, many policy experts and foundations that support higher education that the United States must drastically increase the proportion of Americans who enrol in and complete college - now a centrepiece of the Obama administration's agenda - writes Doug Lederman for Inside Higher Ed. Without significant intervention, a federal study released last week suggests, that common goal will be way out of reach.

A National Center for Education Statistics report released on Tuesday projects key education data to 2018 and estimates that college enrolments will increase by 13% by 2018, to 20.6 million, and that the number of associate and bachelor degrees awarded by American colleges would grow by 25% and 19% respectively. That growth would actually represent a slowdown from the pace of expansion in both enrolments and degree production since 1993, the study finds. (And it is conceivable that the US would lose ground on college enrolment under this scenario, as the 13% increase in enrolment would occur at a time when the US population is increasing by 14%.)
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site