Valuing, Measuring, and Financing Higher Education in the 21st Century

Mimi Lord, TIAA-CREF Institute

December 2006 |

For centuries, education has been valued as a means to critical thinking and scientific inquiry. Over time, additional benefits have become increasingly clear, and especially the economic benefits to individuals and society overall. Measuring the learning outcomes of higher education has proven to be more difficult, however, but is progressing through initiatives such as the National Forum for College-Level Learning. Many challenges exist in this rapidly changing world in which knowledge has become the standard currency and higher education struggles for the financial means to supply it. Issues regarding access, growth in competition, demands for accountability, and financial strains are among the many challenges of today’s top administrators. This report provides an overview of: a) the benefits of higher education, b) current initiatives that attempt to measure and promote successful learning outcomes, and c) challenges that administrators face in carrying out their educational mission.

© 2013 and prior years, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association - College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), New York, NY 10017