The universe of postsecondary education is expanding. It is an era of rapid demographic and labor market changes, increased competition and shifts in institutional form (e.g., the rise of for profit degree granters, the hybrid form of nonprofit/for profit partnerships, corporate universities), and new forms of delivery driven by emerging technologies. In nearly all of these cases, the pace of innovation and establishment of new institutional forms outstrips the ability of regulators or policy makers to stay ahead of the curve.
To better understand the complex interplay of public policy drivers regulating e-learning, the Center for Studies in Higher Education convened a meeting of experts in February 2006 for a preliminary examination of existing and emerging public policies that will shape its regulation both domestically and internationally. Three white papers were used as a point of departure for the discussions, which focused on the following areas: The Changing Regulatory Environment: Who, What, Why, and Where?; Finance, Investment, and the Flow of Capital; Student Access and Equity; Social Costs and Benefits from an International Perspective; and Consumer Protection and Cross-border Education. This report summarizes our conversations and recommendations for future research.