As demands for a college degree increase, how will we educate those people?
“We are now educating 16,000 students here – I think the expectation is we’re going to have to educate a lot more as we go forward,” Sartarelli says in the accompanying video. “That’s the biggest challenge – how do I balance growth and quality as we go forward?”
Similarly, he says, North Carolina could grow from 10 million people today to 15 million by 2050.
While our state’s public universities currently educate 230,000 students, he says, “By 2050, 34 short years from now, we’ll probably have to educate over 300,000, 350,000. And what role will each one of our universities play in that?”
Sartarelli notes that the state constitution requires that North Carolinians receive a higher education “as far as practicable, free of expense.”
“We have to be keeping that in mind,” he says. Though North Carolina provides more state funding than most states, he says, state support per student is less than it was 10 years ago.
“That’s a major discussion we have to have,” he says. “There’s no question that in the world of tomorrow, an educated populace will be critical to succeed.
“We need continued support for higher education in the state if we are to realize the great potential of the great state,” Sartarelli says.