The cost of higher education continues to escalate at an alarming rate in the United States and globally. Public funding sources from around the world are increasingly under pressure to reduce allocations towards higher education while at the same time raising outcome expectations. Unfortunately this financial outlook is projected to continue well into the future, and in many instances it is deemed unsustainable in the long run. Within this context, the Global Trends in Higher Education Financing Project was conceptualized to examine good and best practices of higher education finance models in international contexts. Therefore, a primary objective of the project is to examine exemplary models of learning outcomes and higher education financing models that can hopefully reduce or at least help level off this unsustainable trend. Very little in the higher education literature exists on this issue, especially when it comes to a comparative study between the United States and other countries and regions. Educational systems and institutions are increasingly under pressure to develop solutions that foster increasing institutional financial self-reliance, render higher education degrees more affordable, and enhance employability of graduates.

The Global Trends in Higher Education Financing Project includes contributions from content area experts on innovative higher education learning outcome and financial models from across the globe. An introductory paper helps set the stage, highlighting current trends and a few key success models that have particular relevance in comparative and international contexts. Country and regional case studies examine what has worked well by higher education institutions and higher education systems within Australia/New Zealand; China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; Japan; Korea; Germany; the United Kingdom; Latin America; the Middle East; and the United States.

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