A long-term decline in birth rates raises fundamental planning questions for higher education as the pool of 18-year-olds contracts after 2025. This Planning for Higher Education series explores how planners and leaders can use the time we have to prepare for some of the most wrenching changes in a generation. This article, Part 1, surveys the planning horizon as we emerge from COVID-19 and describes the challenges ahead. Part 2 will consider specific planning strategies institutions can adopt to meet the challenge. Part 3 will tackle perhaps the most daunting challenge: how to mobilize institutions to actually do what needs to be done, however inconvenient (or worse) that may be.
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