February 1, 2014
By Richard Doherty, AICUM President
to AICUM’s revised website and our new blog. AICUM is the leading voice on public policy matters affecting independent higher education in Massachusetts. Our blog will keep you updated on the latest trends in higher education policy, provide important context to opportunities and challenges facing higher education, and lead the discussion into the complexities of the American higher education model. In addition, AICUM’s blog will feature students’ perspectives from many of our 60 institutions, as well as timely posts from key industries that partner with higher education here in the Commonwealth.
Massachusetts has long been synonymous with high-quality higher education and is home to many of our nation’s finest educational institutions. We have a proud history of cultivating internationally recognized institutions of higher education – starting with the very first institution of higher education in America, Harvard University, founded in 1636. Today, our more than 115 public and independent colleges and universities in Massachusetts educate over 500,000 students annually. It is a responsibility that colleges and universities here are proud to accept and strive to meet with each entering class.
However, higher education across the United States has reached an important crossroad — one that has institutions, students, and government officials all pondering the future of higher education. While there is great uncertainty about what role technology will continue to play in higher education or what impact the student loan discussion will have on first-generation students attending college, there is no meaningful dispute about the continued and growing value of
a college education. College is more important today than ever, and it is incumbent upon our government officials, opinion-makers, business leaders and higher education institutions to demonstrate and reinforce this life-long value to aspiring students.
In the coming weeks, I will share my thoughts on the opportunities and challenges facing higher education – both nationally and in Massachusetts – and what steps AICUM and our member colleges and universities are taking to ensure that our institutions continue to provide a high quality and affordable education to each student that chooses to attend one of our many institutions.