Universities in Islamic nations make the same mistakes we do—but worse

Universities are great inventions, and they have a role everywhere, in areas rich and poor, Christian, Islamic, and even atheist. But the Law of Diminishing Returns applies: universities in small doses can disseminate and advance knowledge in welfare-inducing ways, but if expanded too fast, they produce dismal results at the margin. In the Middle East/North African region, this problem is aggravated by over-centralization.

5 things American colleges and universities get right

On the whole, U.S. colleges and universities don’t get everything right. They’re overpriced, operationally hidebound, and ideologically stagnant. But American higher education does some things very well—well enough that students from around the world still choose to come to the United States to get advanced degrees.

Now, here is something to wake up trustees

Ever since it was created in 1995, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni has been trying to help trustees do a better job. ACTA has issued readable, thoughtful reports advising trustees on topics such as advancing intellectual diversity, dealing with grade inflation, measuring academic effectiveness, criticizing accreditation, and cutting costs. But turning the ship of higher education around is a herculean task.