I’ll be addressing this theme at the upcoming NAFSA international conference in Boston with Dr. Fanta Aw of American University and Dr. Richard Murnane of Harvard. The sesson is on “Economic Inequality and the Growing Gap in Access to International Education. If any followers are at the conference next week, it’s at 9:30am on Friday, May 29.
How do these come together? I’ve been thinking about this due to the surprising popularity of a new book by Thomas Pinketty called “Capital in the Twenty-first Century.” While I have not read it, I’ve heard him speak about it and read reviews —bottom line, we are a nation of growing economic inequality and it’s not going away. It’s a structural problem. We also know about the increasing concern about massive student debt – upwards of 1 trillion dollars; and the struggles of institutions to stem the upward turn of tuition (you gotta pay for fancy dorms and new eating spaces somehow…).
What’s this got to do with study abroad and the cyclical effort to increase numbers of students (e.g.: the new IIE Generation Abroad initiative). I fear that the economic realities we face will exacerbate the “employability gap” between those who go to college and have the opportunity to…
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