State Assemblyman Marc Berman convened a first hearing this week for the committee planning the future of higher education in California.
The Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California will update a master plan dating back to 1960 that guides policy at institutions ranging from Foothill College to UC Berkeley.
“Our systems of higher education are envied and emulated throughout the nation, and are critically important to both the upward economic mobility of hundreds of thousands of Californians as well as the state’s economic vitality as the sixth largest economy in the world,” said Berman, a Democrat who represents Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.
Berman said that while the master plan “has served us well” for the past 57 years, “we owe it to both current and future generations to make sure that the master plan is updated so that it benefits students and the state for another 50 years.”
Population growth, increased diversity, technological advancement and new leading industries have altered the needs of students, changed the field of education itself and boosted the demand for higher education, according to Berman.
The Select Committee was established last spring as a multiyear endeavor to ensure that the updated plan reflects modern students’ needs.
“Fifty-seven years ago the state made a promise to its students to provide accessible, affordable and high-quality higher education,” he said. “California must keep its promise.”