The Abundant University: Remaking Higher Education for a Digital World
Why our current system of higher education is financially and morally unsustainable and how to address the crisis with the creative implementation of digital technologies.
For too long, our system of higher education has been defined by scarcity: scarcity in enrollment, scarcity in instruction, and scarcity in credentials. In addition to failing students professionally, this system has exacerbated social injustice and socioeconomic stratification across the globe. In The Abundant University, Michael D. Smith argues that the only way to create a financially and morally sustainable higher education system is by embracing digital technologies for enrolling, instructing, and credentialing students—the same technologies that we have seen create abundance in access to resources in industry after industry.
The Abundant University explains how we got our current system, why it’s such an expensive, inefficient mess, and how a system based on exclusivity cannot foster inclusivity. Smith challenges the resistance to digital technologies that we have already seen among numerous institutions, citing the examples of faculty resistance toward digital learning platforms. While acknowledging the understandable self-preservation instinct of our current system of residential education, Smith makes a case for how technology can engender greater educational opportunity and create changes that will benefit students, employers, and society as a whole.
Praise for The Abundant University: Remaking Higher Education for a Digital World
Included in Forbes's Best Higher Education Books of 2023 list
Winner of the Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature
"If you’re looking for a book that challenges higher education’s status quo, questions its basic business model, and argues for a complete transformation to create greater, more affordable access to advanced education, Michael D. Smith’s The Abundant University: Remaking Higher Education For a Digital World is a great place to start...The Abundant University is sure to stir up a storm. It threatens many of higher education’s cherished assumptions and traditions. It encourages major innovations in how advanced education is delivered and to whom. And it foresees and even encourages a dismantling of the credentialing monopoly that colleges have long protected. Get ready to hear some howling from the ivory towers...With a straightforward, conversational style, Smith succeeds in portraying the current problems bearing down on higher education and offering a set of bold solutions for a future where he envisions a college education becoming “more open, flexible, inclusive, and lower-priced.” The Abundant University is a provocative book that should be read by higher ed insiders as well as those in the general public who care about expanding the reach and the impact of higher education."