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Higher Education – Investment or Waste?


Tonight I attended the Open Forum Davos session “Higher Education – Investment or Waste”.

My opinion?

It was a very good session.  No, it was excellent.  a) because the speakers were very knowledgeable and presented different perspectives  and b) because it was  interactive  with a long q&a session.  The latter I did not expect and was thus pleasantly surprised. (I even had the chance to pose my own question; check the video at 1:05)

Bottom line?

Higher Education – Investment or Waste?  Yes, of course, it depends.  HOWEVER, if you look at the exploding costs of higher education  you can get serious doubts if this can still be a good investment.  Fact is, that higher education doesn’t guarantee you a job afterwards.  And, due to the outrageously high tuition costs in some countries, it becomes increasingly difficult for “normal” parents to send their kids to college.  Hence, while I would not go so far and consider higher education a “waste” I believe that we must not continue to downward spiral of exploding costs.

Possible solutions:

  • online universities / courses
  • subsidized education (ok, but then vocational training ought to be subsidized, too) ensuring universal access to higher education (provided entry criteria are met by student candidates)
  • more cost efficient universities
  • peer teaching, group learning thus cutting down salary costs
  • invest in primary and scondary education without burning our kids (yes, our children still need their free time, believe it or not)
  • invest in alternative education models
  • invest in vocational training; after all, who says that everybody has to go to a university to succeed?!

 

Posted in: Miscellaneous, WEF

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