Malcolm Gladwell’s critique of higher education continues

Malcolm Gladwell’s critique of higher education continues.

Reported by UNCF, the best-selling author’s podcast, Revisionist History, is specifically digging into the U.S. News & World Report rankings this season. Questioning whether or not the publication’s popular ranking system is helpful for anything beyond determining and sort-ranking which institutions selectively admit more students of higher academic and affluent standing vs. actually create social mobility jumps in the students they do admit.

The takeaway? This should be required listening for everyone in higher education. Not because Gladwell’s critiques are perfectly sound. Whenever an outsider dives deep into higher education, there is often a whole lot of reductionism and over-simplification in their analysis, such as there was when Gladwell last deep-dived into our space several years back. But whenever anyone with that large an audience is speaking about our space, we’d be wise to listen, develop our response, and happily join in the conversation excited to continually iterate and improve our mission, position, and strategy for serving the very students we’re designed to.

May you continue to fight the good enrollment growth fight at your institution today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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Eric Olsen

Eric brings more than a decade of award-winning creative brand development, marketing analytics and higher education experience to Helix Education. Eric is a graduate of Bradley University and earned his MBA at Lewis University.