‘Its far too easy to borrow money for college. Did you know that there is more outstanding debt for student loans than there is for Auto Loans or Credit Card loans ? Thats right. The 37mm holders of student loans have more debt than the 175mm or so credit card owners in this country and more than the all of the debt on cars in this country. While the average student loan debt is about 23k. The median is close to $12,500. And growing. Past 1 TRILLION DOLLARS.’
Perhaps there won’t be a meltdown, but current debt levels probably can’t be sustained. Technology, global competition and various other factors are putting pressure on higher education in the U.S, and forcing it to change.
It still seems as though a promise and a wish this past century we Americans have had for ourselves has been extended as far as it will go (education and opportunity for all). There are a lot of people whose livelihood depends upon keeping things the way they are.
As Clayton Christensen argues in the startupgrind video below, universities have competed together to move upmarket, with rock walls, high-end facilities, and more and more amenities. All the while, they’ve been getting heavier on management and administration. Christensen suggests that newer business models are utilizing technology at their core, and training people on the job for specific skills. This is seriously undercutting the old university model.
I find myself thinking of this misalignment (straying from the core educational mission, overpromising, the end of an era?) when I see splashy diversity-laden brochure photos, and huge athletic programs hyped as the faces of university life. Costs keep going up and the value of many degrees keeps going down.
Perhaps there is a correlation with other overall trends in our society to run museums like businesses, the competition between the private and public sectors, the growth of the ‘meritocracy’ and Washington D.C. and our continually growing government as well. Perhaps I’m overhyping it myself, but the ‘greatness’ model is under serious stress.
Will half of universities be in bankruptcy in a few decades? How much will technology disrupt education?
Interesting times. What have venture capitalists got right, and what might they be missing?
What has really changed regarding human nature?
Related On This Site: Should you get a college degree?: Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?…Charles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational Romanticism…
The libertarian angle, getting smart, ambitious people off of the degree treadmill: From The American Interest: Francis Fukuyama Interviews Peter Thiel-’A Conversation With Peter Thiel’ I think it’s going too far, trying to apply libertarian economics onto education, but Milton Friedman on Education is thought-provoking.
A deeper look at what education “ought” to be A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’
Nothing that Allan Bloom didn’t point out in the Closing Of The American Mind, at least with regard to a true liberal arts education: Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’
Perhaps some of the problem is due to the ideological interests holing up at our universities; at least in the liberal arts: Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?From The Harvard Educational Review-