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Study: Illinois higher education floundering

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A study released last month by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education shows declining interest in higher education among Illinois students–and says government corruption is at least partially to blame, the Huffington Post reports. The study, titled “A Story of Decline: Performance and Policy in Illinois Higher Education,” says that in the past decade, Illinois went from being a leader in higher education to falling behind in college preparation, participation and affordability, and says the state has made “no progress toward ameliorating a persistent pattern of inequity in higher education.”

“I think for whatever combination of reasons higher education slipped off the agenda of state government,” Stanley Ikenberry, the former president of the University of Illinois, told the Chicago Sun-Times. “While higher education was very much on the agenda for Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar in Illinois I don’t think higher education was on the agenda at all for George Ryan and even less for Blagojevich. If you’ve got a governor who doesn’t really care, that’s a major loss.”

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