May 5th, 2011 | Uncategorized

A Harvard-Yale merger? That’s what one scholar predicts

So, you’re just looking for a place in the Berkeley dining hall, when suddenly you run into these guys (or at least their latter-day counterparts).

That’s the future Jane S Shaw, President of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, foresees for Yale students by 2020. In a piece published May 2, Shaw details a grim future: a Harvard-Yale merger, as the universities struggle to deal with inflation-battered endowments and dwindling yields.

In Shaw’s view, online universities are set to become increasingly popular, as a result of accessibility, lower costs and more intense curricula.

Such paranoia represents a growing trend of education policy-makers suggesting that traditional models are soon to be rendered irrelevant. Popular New York Times higher education blog The Choice warns against the essay being “dismissed as science fiction.” More pressure is being placed on even the most revered and traditional of institutions to offer alternatives like three-year degrees.

By 2020, the need for adjustment would apparently be critical. Shaw shows Harvard and Yale doing just that. This saves them from grimmer fates — Princeton is set to be bought over by Shanghai University in Shaw-world, and Stanford will refocus as a collection of professional schools.

At least our leaders are to be respectable. With Jodie Foster ‘85 in the Oval Office and ‘Tiger daughter’ Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld heading up the unholy amalgam, who could potentially worry?

Good luck explaining to your kids that, back in your day, “Ha-Ya” was two schools.