New Book: Noah Pickus

By Matt LoJacono // December 11, 2023

The New Global Universities: Reinventing Education in the 21st Century

Noah Pickus

Man with beard smiling at camera for headshot

Reimagining higher education around the world: lessons from the creation of eight new colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. 


Higher education is perpetually in crisis, buffeted by increasing costs and a perceived lack of return on investment, campus culture that is criticized for stifling debate on controversial topics, and a growing sense that the liberal arts are outmoded and irrelevant. Some observers even put higher education on the brink of death. The New Global Universities offers a counterargument, telling the story of educational leaders who have chosen not to give up on high

Book cover

er education but to reimagine it. The book chronicles the development and launch of eight innovative colleges and universities in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and North America, describing the combination of intellectual courage, entrepreneurial audacity, and adaptive leadership needed to invent educational institutions today.

The authors, both academic leaders who have been involved in launching ventures similar to the ones described, offer a unique inside perspective on these efforts. Bryan Penprase and Noah Pickus show how the founders of new colleges and universities establish distinctive brands in a sector dominated by centuries-old institutions, secure creative sources of funding, attract stellar faculty and students, and design appealing curriculums and campuses—all while managing tradeoffs and setbacks, balancing local needs and global aspirations, and wrestling with challenges to academic freedom. These new educational institutions include two universities in Asia and the Middle East built by well-established American parent institutions, others in Africa and North America that offer holistic reform from the ground up and leverage new technologies to lower costs, and still others that adapted the American liberal arts model to Asian and African contexts. Their experiences offer lessons for future founders of new universities—and for those who want to renew and rejuvenate existing ones.

Read more about the book here.