Manoj Patankar: New Data Highlights Factors that Threaten Future of Higher Education

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New statistics reveal that an alarming amount of Americans are concerned about a wide range of “crises” occurring among the country’s universities. From rising costs to inefficiency, educator Manoj Patankar comments on this growing public concern.

Although many Americans and young adults are quick to complain about the current cost of higher education, new statistics reveal that the future for university instruction could be at risk. To put these risks into perspective, an article from USA Today highlights new data that suggests “The cost of a college degree has risen 1,120 percent since 1978, four times faster than the increase in the consumer price index.” If costs continue to follow this trend, the expense of a year’s worth of education at a public university could average in at $41,000 in less than two decades. In addition to the monetary concerns, the article notes that many are becoming concerned with the quality of education found among today’s universities. As a leading academic administrator, researcher and educator, Manoj Patankar shares his thoughts on the solutions to these ever-growing issues.

According to the article, a recent poll conducted by Time magazine and Carnegie Corporation found that the concern over the health of today’s higher education is no longer one just limited to the academics. The data reveals that “89 percent of U.S. adults say higher education is in crisis; 54 percent say it is moving in the wrong direction; 96 percent of senior higher education administrators say their sector is in crisis; 40 percent say that crisis is ‘severe’.” Although the costs of a college degree may have many current students questioning the true value of higher education, Manoj Patankar notes that there is still hope, if universities and administrators are willing to make changes.

In addition to finding a new approach to rising higher educational costs—now marked by national student debt that totals at a trillion dollars, according to USA Today—Manoj Patankar suggests that educators and universities discover a new approach to learning.

Patankar explains that in order for higher education to become more effective and worthwhile, programs must adapt to the process of learning what affects today’s students. According to Patankar, universities must ask the following question: With what we know about our current students and with the new technologies that we have at our disposal, how do we develop adaptive learning systems, competency-based assessment, as well as an engaging, cross-disciplinary learning environment that focuses on big challenges of the 21st Century and prepares students to address them?

In conclusion, Manoj Patankar observes, “In order to truly fulfill its mission, higher education must transform itself. Today, much more is known about human learning than generations ago when the current systems and structures were developed. Now, we need to shift from a teaching-based paradigm to a learning-based paradigm."

Manoj Patankar is a leading educator and academic administrator who has greatly contributed to the field of aviation, workplace safety, engineering and sustainability. In addition to serving as a university professor in varied fields, Manoj Patankar has fulfilled immense administrative and leadership duties as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Chief Academic Office at Saint Louis University. Manoj Patankar is also the author of several widely-read texts on aviation safety and has won several awards for his academic research and publications.

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Kristen Walsh
PR Management Inc.
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