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NERCHE’s think tank members recently participated in a discussion of the competitive forces driving change in higher education. The discussion, facilitated by The Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World (, revealed tremendous concern among faculty and administrators in New England about safeguarding the principles of equal access and equal educational opportunity during a time of accelerating competition for students. This is a crucial time for a reevaluation of barriers to full educational opportunity in this country. We need policies both at the institutional level and the state and federal levels to reverse the widening educational and economic divide.


The following Brief from the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) is a distillation of collaborative work of members of NERCHE's ongoing think tanks for administrators and faculty in the New England region. NERCHE Briefs emphasize policy implications and action agendas from the point of view of the people who tackle the most compelling issues in higher education in their daily work lives. With support from the Ford Foundation, NERCHE disseminates these pieces to a targeted audience of legislators, college and university presidents and system heads, and media contacts. The Briefs are designed to add critical information and essential voices to the policy decisions that leaders in higher education address.


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