The University of Austin: A Meteor Aimed at Higher Ed?

Peter Wood

Americans are beginning to seek alternatives to our established menu of colleges and universities. In fact, not just Americans. Students from other countries are also choosing alternatives to studying in the US. The combined effect has been a sharp drop in American college enrollment, which is down overall by about 8 percent over the last two years, and more than 14 percent at community colleges. Enrollment of new foreign students fell last year by 46 percent.

Some of this, of course, is due to Covid. And some of it is due to a demographic shift: fewer babies born 17 to 20 years ago. But other contributing factors are more mysterious. Why has there been a precipitous drop in the number of males who choose to go to college? Why have so many colleges declared themselves “systemically racist”? Why have colleges turned campus life into a pressure cooker of ideological conformity?

The recent formation of a new institution, the University of Austin (UATX), which intends to break with the herd mentality, was met with met with high praise in many quarters, and with extreme disdain by many supporters of the legacy institutions.