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Tyler Cowen

Higher Education Is Headed in the Wrong Direction

The controversies over language and free speech on US campuses distract from deeper, more slow-moving problems.

Not as bucolic as it appears.

Not as bucolic as it appears.


The various “political correctness” scandals on college campuses, such as a group at Stanford recommending against the use of the words “American” and “immigrant,” get a lot of headlines. But there are more gradual, less visible changes that also contribute to the declining status of the US system of higher education.

One issue is the increased emphasis, in terms of both student majors and faculty slots, toward computer science and engineering. That is an entirely appropriate development, motivated by changing labor markets, and institutions of higher education are right to make this shift.