OECD Conference Considers the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Higher Education

Lori Breslow, Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory

Dean Dan Hastings and Lori Breslow, TLL’s Director, attended a conference held at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s headquarters in Paris in September. Organized by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE), the conference was entitled “Higher Education in a World Utterly Changed: Doing More with Less.”

Over five hundred people from seventy different countries attended the conference whose focus was on the effect of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on higher education. Almost every presenter—with the exception of those from Australia, a country that was not adversely affected by the GFC—described dramatic cuts in their higher education budgets, and how they were coping with those reductions.

Dean Hastings and Dr. Breslow gave a presentation on the Institute-wide Planning Task Force. In it, they described how MIT was strategic in its response to necessary budget reductions, creating working groups to explore both cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures. Audience members were interested in the fact that MIT undertook such a careful, deliberate process in making necessary budget reductions.

At the conference, Dr. Breslow met representatives of Cisco Systems, the Lumina Foundation, and the Parisian Chamber of Commerce, and she continues to be in contact with them about possible collaborations.