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Why scientists who don’t have time should read “8 billion and counting”

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8 billion and counting: how sex, death and migration shape our world Jennifer D. Syuba

Published in March 2022.

The biggest risk faced by higher education leaders is focusing on the relevant over the important.

This risk is exacerbated by what I see as a structural crisis with a shortage of staff at our universities. While the academic myth persists about administrative bloating, the reality is that fewer academics (both faculty and administrators) do more work.

The result is that most higher education executives spend their days (both evenings and weekends) on firefighting, where they have to devote their thoughts and efforts to solving more existential long-term problems.

Perhaps the biggest of these long-term challenges is demographics.

Readers of Nathan Gray’s books, Demographics and demand for higher education and Agile College: how institutions are successfully moving with demographic changeare well aware of the demographic barriers facing higher education.

If Grawe interested you in demographics, then Sciubba 8 billion and counting ideal for providing a broader view of population science.

Now, of course, I’m biased. Which has trained As a social demographer, I firmly love any book on fertility, mortality, disease, and migration.

Demographics may not be destiny, but it is close. У 8 billion and countingSciubba (political demographer) does a fantastic job of highlighting major population trends affecting the US and the world.

Among the trends discussed in 8 billion and counting What every head of higher education should pay attention to is the rapid aging and growth of the diversity of the U.S. population and the growth (and young age structures) of emerging economies.

Over the next 25 years, the U.S. population aged 65 and over will increase from 17 to 22 percent. Over the same years, the average age in the United States will increase from 38 to 41 years. The size and rate of aging of the U.S. population is not a trend that higher education as an industry has completely absorbed.

Reading 8 billion and countg should compel university presidents, trustees, and chief financial officers to prioritize the long-term transition of educational programs and campus facilities to serve the needs of the elderly.

In how many colleges and universities is managing an aging population a top strategic priority? Senior populations have implications for enrollment and training programs, as well as staff recruitment and retention, campus design, marketing, branding, fundraising, research priorities, and probably all other aspects related to the success of an institution.

From an international perspective, 8 billion and counting particularly strongly describes population trends in emerging economies. For every child born in a rich country, almost ten are born in new countries.

The United States is relatively well-off when it comes to general population trends as our population will continue to grow over the coming decades. (From 330 million today to almost 400 million by 2050). On the contrary, in the absence of significant immigration reform, the populations of many now-rich countries will shrink over the coming decades. Japan’s population will decline from 127 million to 105 million by 2050, while Italy will be closer to 50 million than 60 million over the same period.

On the contrary, the countries in the emerging world are growing rapidly and have a relatively young population. While in Japan the average age is almost 49 years, in the fastest growing developing countries, the average age is below 25 years. As Suba explains in the book “8 Billion and Counting,” there is a strong correlation between young age structures and political instability.

There is no way that India or African countries will be able to build enough campus-based universities over the next 30 years to serve all those seeking higher education. How many American universities today are seriously considering a future where many of their students come from Africa? If by 2050 a quarter of the world’s population is African, every higher education institution must have an African strategy to be relevant.

Read 8 billion and count will help us in scientific circles to study the language, trends and major issues related to population dynamics.

Any book that encourages us to step away from the immediate and think about the long term is a good investment of time.

As the daily work of academic life becomes more and more insane, like a big picture book 8 billion and counting can be an excellent antidote to the dangers of short-term institutional thinking.

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