the weekly digest from NEJHE and other news from the New England Board of Higher Education
May 12, 2021

Insofar as postindustrial economies depend on a highly educated workforce to fuel innovation, supporting access to postsecondary education has become an article of faith. But access to what exactly? "The current shakeout in higher education won’t necessarily leave a gap in terms of accessibility, since workforce demands will ensure some form of credentialing replaces it. But the value of what fills the gap is an open question," writes Todd J. Leach, the chancellor emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire and former chair of NEBHE. Colleges have used higher sticker prices for students who have the ability to pay more to subsidize "discounts" for students who don’t have that ability to pay, thus maintaining access and a critical mass of enrollment. "But at some point, the business model breaks down; the higher paying students who subsidize the discounts are either no longer willing or able to pay the higher tuition levels, or those students decide they have better options for the same amount of money." Moreover, adds Leach: "The richness of an online experience is changing rapidly with the advancement of virtual reality, spatial computing and predictive analytics, and it should not be assumed that a transformative experience cannot be achieved through nontraditional paths to higher education."
Our Webinars

Higher education institutions have long recognized the benefits of international students on campus, including the diverse perspectives these students bring to the classroom. International students also contribute significantly to the New England economy, both on campus and in the community. In the 2018-19 academic year alone, foreign students at New England colleges and universities injected $4.3 billion into the regional economy and supported thousands of jobs. While the institutions work hard to recruit and retain international students, other supports are needed, including federal visa reform, to help this talent power the region's innovation-driven economy. In the final webinar of our series, a panel of experts will explore how our region’s leaders can advocate for policies that not only encourage international students to attend New England’s postsecondary institutions, but also support their entry into the region’s workforce after graduation.

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Board of Regents appointed Terrence Cheng to be president of the system, which serves more than 72,000 students at Connecticut’s 12 community colleges, four regional universities and Charter Oak State College. Currently director of the University of Connecticut’s Stamford campus and an English professor, Cheng will succeed CSCU’s interim President Jane Gates, who stepped into the role when former President Mark Ojakian retired last December. .. See more on this and other changes in NEJHE's "Comings and Goings" tally of new appointments in New England higher ed and beyond.

Pictured: Terrence Cheng
News Around NEBHE

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Tracking Coronavirus: A Deep Dive
This semester, NEBHE is deep-diving on topics related to New England institutions' response to COVID-19 (see our updated COVID-19 response page here). We will publish periodic briefs on topics including: plans for spring 2021, federal actions that affect higher education, vaccination distribution, mental health and planning for fall 2021. Interested in a topic we haven't covered? Reach out to Charlotte Peyser at
NEJHE NewsBlast is a summary of NEJHE content and other news around NEBHE prepared weekly by NEJHE Executive Editor John O. Harney and emailed every Wednesday to opinion leaders and practitioners. When responding to NEJHE content, please make sure that your remarks are relevant, courteous and engaging. Individuals are responsible for their comments, which do not represent the opinions of the New England Board of Higher Education. We urge commenters to briefly note their occupational or other interest in the topic at hand. Please refrain from offensive language, personal attacks and distasteful comments or they may be deleted. Comments may not appear immediately. Thank you for staying engaged.
Fusion Course
Enhancing Education Through Community-Based Learning
With the COVID-19 outlook brightening, now is the time for faculty to get critical training and support as you continue to adapt to evolving online, hybrid or in-person teaching and learning this fall. Regardless of the setting, the Fusion Course offers instruction for how to integrate community engagement methodologies into existing curricula to improve the quality of course delivery and foster student engagement.

Two sessions are offered this Summer!
June 7 - June 11
June 21 - June 25

Free for members from New England!
(Space Permitting)
Questions? Contact

The Fusion Project is made possible by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to Maine Campus Compact.
NEJHE NewsBlast is sponsored by
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