attended, and among university observers generally, there’s a good deal of comment about the American university bubble. About how MOOCs and outrageous tuition and clouded job prospects are going to shut down or seriously shrink brick and mortar academic institutions…

At Harvard, Bill Kristol said the bubble thing after UD pointed out – in response to a lot of doom and gloom talk among her fellow attendees – that just outside the venue of our conference masses of people from around the world were using battering rams to gain admission to Harvard, a school whose almost forty billion dollar endowment looked to her like one hell of a tough bubble. And people said the obvious stuff about how exceptional Harvard is, etc.

Yet Harvard is one of maybe thirty spectacular private and public schools in the United States to which the battering ram image applies. Everyone’s writing today about the wealthy Chinese couple suing a former Harvard professor after they gave him over two million dollars to get their sons into Harvard or someplace similar. (The wise writer at Gawker points out their fatal mistake: “Always, always bribe the school directly. Can’t stress this enough.”)

I thought China was cleaning our clock. Instead the Chinese, the Indians, tens of thousands of Americans, and vast numbers of people from other countries, seem to be keeping the university bubble at bay.

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