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Higher Ed Needs More Grit

By University of Utah President Taylor Randall:

You’ve probably been reading about the looming demise of U.S. higher education.

I don’t buy it.

Yes, college and university enrollment has fallen, decreasing by almost 7.5 percent since 2019, before the pandemic began.

Just six in 10 Americans say college is worth the time and money. And one-third of adult members of Generation Z say they tend not to trust higher education.

And yet, this fall the University of Utah admitted a record class of first-year students for the third year in row. We’re on track to grow our student body from just under 35,000 to 40,000 over the next five years, and we have plans to build 5,000 additional student housing units in the same time frame, transforming what traditionally had been a commuter campus into a campus village.

I have the benefit of leading a flagship research university in a growing Western state, with low unemployment, a booming economya young population and a persistently high birth rate. We’re still enrolling third-, fourth- and fifth-generation college students (the ones with 10 Advanced Placement classes on their transcripts, 4.0-plus grade point averages and 34s on the ACT).

Read the rest of the article in Inside Higher Ed.