Dianne Welsh on the Future of Higher Education

Professor Dianne H.B. Welsh, Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Founding Director of the Entrepreneurship Program at The University of North Carolina Greensboro, recent Fulbright-Hall Distinguished Chair for Entrepreneurship in Central Europe at WU Wien, delivered a presentation during a workshop at the Amerika Haus. The program was organized by the U.S. Embassy Vienna in cooperation with the Austrian Fulbright Commission and the Austrian University Conference.

In her remarks, Prof. Welsh put forward 19 points that, in her opinion, will influence the higher education sector worldwide in the coming decades, including: a rising popularity of MOOCs; tax payers increasingly questioning funding of higher education through tax contributions; demand for greater financial accountability and transparency; increased questioning of the revenue of higher education degrees vis-à-vis high school degrees; increased interest in opportunities outside academia; a new emphasis on non-degree education and practical experience; etc.

In the ensuing discussion, the moderator, Prof. Gerald Steiner of the Donau Universität Krems, led workshop participants to articulate challenges their own institutions are faced with. The closing Q&A testified to the fact that the challenges and phenomena Prof. Welsh had identified in her 19 points are, indeed, to be reckoned with in the decades ahead.