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