UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Donald E. Heller, a professor of education and senior scientist in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State, gave the keynote address at the 2011 International Forum on Higher Education Finance in Seoul, South Korea on Sept. 8.
"The financial challenges facing most countries during this recession have similarly affected higher education in countries like Korea, as well," said Heller. "Countries are struggling to find ways to adequately fund higher education at a time when many are in the midst of national goals to expand higher education participation. The Korean Educational Development Institute organized this meeting to bring together policymakers, government officials, and researchers from around the globe to discuss the fiscal challenges and how higher education can best respond to them. I was asked to provide my perspective on the issues with a keynote address kicking off the conference."
Sponsored by the Korean Educational Development Institute, the nation’s leading think tank on education and educational policy, the forum’s theme was "Higher Education Finance: Coping Strategies for the Global Financial Crisis of Higher Education." Heller’s talk focused on the coping strategies and reactions to the current crisis in higher education finance. Attendees included government officials -- such as the vice minister of the Korean Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology -- and presidents, scholars and graduate students of public and private universities.
Heller teaches and conducts research on higher education economics, public policy, and finance, with a primary focus on issues of college access and choice for low-income and minority students. He has consulted on higher education policy issues with university systems and policymaking organizations in numerous states, and he has testified in front of Congressional committees, state legislatures, and in federal court cases as an expert witness.
Heller’s research has been published in a number of journals, including the Journal of Higher Education, the Review of Higher Education and the Journal of Student Financial Aid, and his work has been reported on by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, National Public Radio and CNN Headline News. His edited books include "Condition of Access: Higher Education for Lower Income Students" (ACE/Praeger, 2002) and "The States and Public Higher Education Policy: Affordability, Access, and Accountability" (Johns Hopkins, 2001).