Worth reading: 'How Town Hurts Gown'
But Keane writes:
...We're proud of our longstanding reputation as America's premier college town, but, in fact, only 16 of the top 125 schools in the country are located in New England, according to US News & World Report. The rest fiercely compete against us not only on the basis of class size, lab space, and faculty, but also on amenities such as dorms. Today's students are no longer satisfied with crowded quads and grungy bathrooms down the hall. Quality of life matters, and prevented from building, Boston schools have a tough time delivering.
Equally problematic is competition from overseas. Foreign students once flocked to New England; now their numbers are down. Some are going to colleges elsewhere in the States. Others are staying home and attending newly built schools there. Our own schools are now building elsewhere as well. Emerson opened a campus in LA. MIT is building in Abu Dhabi, Harvard Medical will soon be in Dubai, and the University of Massachusetts is cutting a deal to offer courses in China. If the students aren't coming to Boston, the schools may as well go to them.
Then there's distance learning. Most colleges now offer online courses; community colleges, in fact, report that online enrollment is growing more than five times faster than on-campus enrollment. Eventually, students and schools will figure out that much of their learning can be done without leaving home.
Definitely worth a read.