Recorded seminar on consumerism in American higher education

We are delighted to share with you another seminar recording from the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures). HEIK is a research group located at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Oslo, the coordinating institution of Hedda.

Professor Christopher Morphew  (University of Iowa)

Professor Christopher Morphew
(University of Iowa)

This time, we are pleased to feature professor Christopher Morphew from University of Iowa who visited University of Oslo in June 2014 and gave a presentation titled: “Academic Consumerism: The American Advantage?

Listen without the Flashplayer

The presentation will draw from several recent articles by Professor Morphew.

Please see: 

Saichaie, K. and Morphew, C. (forthcoming, 2014). What college and university websites reveal about the purposes of higher education. The journal of higher education

Abstract: College and university websites play an important role in the college search process. This study examines the textual and visual elements on the websites of 12 colleges and universities. Findings suggest that websites communicate a message consistent with private purposes of education and inconsistent with those linked to public purposes.

Morphew, C. and Taylor, B. (2013). What sticker price doesn’t mean: Nonprofit higher education, expenditures and general subsidies. Teacher College Record.      

Abstract: Nonprofit colleges and universities have traditionally provided students with an education that costs more to provide than students pay. There is extreme variance and growing stratification in the amount of general subsidy among colleges and universities. Historically, colleges and universities with higher sticker prices have been those that offered the most resource-intensive programs and spent the most on educational costs. There is evidence that this trend has changed and tuition price is not necessarily indicative of educational spending. The study examines whether sticker price is related to educational spending and general subsidies at some of the highest priced (and best known) private colleges and universities in the US. The study utilizes data collected by the Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data Service (IPEDS) and standardized by the Delta Project (2011). Descriptive statistics, including Gini coefficients and scatterplots, are used to illustrate the relationship between educational spending and net tuition at 123 colleges and universities with tuition and required fees greater than $50,000 in 2011. The study demonstrates that some colleges and universities in this elite group provide nominal or negative general subsidies to their students. This finding demonstrates that tuition price has taken on a signaling role in higher education and challenges traditional assumptions about what tuition price means and how it can be used by higher education researchers.