Vail Symposium brings together experts to question higher education’s role in a changing society |

Vail Symposium brings together experts to question higher education’s role in a changing society

Long heralded as the path to the American Dream, soaring tuition and resulting debt has tarnished higher education’s appeal. With the pandemic necessitating online learning, some parents and students are questioning if the benefits outweigh the costs. And, nationwide protests for social justice in the midst of the pandemic, as well as preceeding it, questions the role higher education has to play in shaping the values of our nation’s citizenry.

On Thursday, Jan. 7, Vail Symposium presents its first program of the new year, “Value Proposition: The Future of Higher Education” at 6 p.m. via Zoom meeting. This program brings together former Yale University president Rick Levin, current Pennsylvania State University president Eric Barron and moderator Kathryn Regjo of Colorado Mountain College to examine the future of higher education.

Higher education has been seen for decades as a path to a better life, but with soaring costs, online learning and unchanged degree paths, some are questioning its value.
Special to the Daily

“Like many aspects of living altered during the pandemic,” said program manager Claire Noble, “a big question looming over higher education is what changes will be permanent such as the amount of online content delivery, the future of the on-campus experience and whether gap years might benefit more students.”

Most students attend a university with a particular career path in mind, but changes in technology will not only change those careers, but also create entirely new ones. The traditional model of a terminal degree providing the education necessary for a lifelong career now seems anachronistic.

This program will cover many questions regarding the future of higher education. How will the traditional university environment serve adult learners throughout the course of their careers? Will universities expand their offerings to be better align with what the industry is looking for in shorter bursts of learning that allow people to remain current and competitive throughout their careers?

Not to mention, soaring costs are vexing to parents, students and administrators. Will partnerships emerge between smaller institutions of higher learning in order to leverage strengths and mitigate costs? Will online-only learning ventures such as Minerva remain outliers, or act as paradigm-shifting disruptors, obliterating the very experience of higher learning? Join Barron, Levin and Regjo for this fascinating and educational program.


What: Value Proposition: The Future of Higher Education

When: Thursday, Jan. 7, 6 p.m.

Where: Zoom Webinar

More information: This program is free. Please register at for more information.

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