Thursday, October 25, 2018

New Think Tank Funding Model: Charging for "Education Courses"

In a scramble for funding from as many sources as possible, think tanks are borrowing an idea from colleges and universities: charging for educational courses.

As a recent example, the Center for Strategic and International Studies' (CSIS) Aerospace Security Project is offering an "executive education course" from Nov. 7-8.  Here is more:

Understanding National Security Space is a professional development program designed to explore the technical, budgetary, and policy issues in the U.S. national security space enterprise. The course will be led by CSIS’s space security experts with guest lectures from former senior military and civilian space leaders, industry practitioners, and space security scholars.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn and network with other professionals interested in understanding the space domain, the evolution of space policy, and the future of national security space. Participants will take part in lectures and group discussions, culminating in an international space crisis tabletop exercise.
Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in international security, space policy, missile defense, or other related areas.
Designed for working professionals, Understanding National Security Space is held at CSIS’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., over the course of two days.

Tuition for the course, which includes lunches and a cocktail reception, is $3,000 per person (not including transportation or lodging).  CSIS notes that a limited amount of tuition assistance may be available for "outstanding applicants from the not-for-profit sector."

CSIS is not the only think tank offering paid courses.  The libertarian Cato Institute, for example, runs Cato University, which offers 3-day courses on various topics.  A course from Oct. 25-27 in Boston has fees ranging from $695 to $895 per person.  [One can apply for a scholarship for those courses.]

And Brookings Institution, for example, offers various programs through "Brookings Executive Education" (run jointly with Washington University in St Louis) which costs thousands of dollars to attend.  Tuition for its nine-month "Executive Fellowship Program" is $14,500.