LITE Masterclass: Capturing the value of a university education – reflections from the United States

  • Date: Thursday 28 September 2017
  • Time:: 17:30 to 19:30
  • Venue:: Woodhouse suite, University House, University of Leeds

BETTER UNDERSTANDING the value of a university education from a U.S. perspective is the focus of the next LITE Masterclass.

Visiting LITE Fellow, Professor Peter Lennie, who is a former Provost at the University of Rochester in New York, will deliver the presentation in which he’ll reflect on the US model of higher education, the challenges universities are facing and what value, both financially and holistically, degrees now hold.

Prof. Lennie, who is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering and a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, will spend six months with LITE at the University of Leeds, where he will focus on learning gain, graduate outcomes and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

VISITING LITE Fellow: Prof. Peter Lennie.

He says: “In the United States, where a university education can cost over $60,000 per year, and where a degree is no longer a passport to a good job, universities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate the value of the education they provide.

“This is surprisingly hard to do.

“In almost every dimension of life, university-educated adults are better-off: they’re more employed, they’re higher paid, they’re more civically engaged, they’re healthier, and they live longer.

“But those who enter university generally have many social and economic advantages over those who don’t, and these advantages propagate through university into life beyond.

“None of this is surprising, but it makes clear why it’s not straightforward to show how a university education benefits the already talented and often accomplished students who arrive as freshmen.

Universities need to do a much better job articulating their value, but to do so they will need to overcome two major challenges: we don’t have agreement on the appropriate indicators of success, some of the measures currently employed, such as post-graduation salary, are deeply flawed, and we don’t know enough about how the different parts of the undergraduate experience affect outcomes.

“I will discuss an approach to these problems.”

This is the latest in a series of Masterclasses co-organised by Organisational Development and Professional Learning (ODPL), and the Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence.

The Institute, entering its second year, provides funding, time and support for current and future student education leaders to develop their profile at the University and to carry out research and innovation projects with internal and external impact.

LITE Director Raphael Hallett, says: “We are excited to be welcoming back Peter to the UK. His experience of the higher education system from both sides of the Atlantic, but particularly his acute understanding of the American model, will be extremely valuable for the the University of Leeds and LITE.

“Given the current flux of our own higher education landscape with the introduction of the TEF, and the rising cost of a degree, a fresh international perspective on the value of a university education is both timely and fascinating.”

To register your interest, and to help plan ahead for catering, please contact Rekha Parmar: