College education is failing us all. Can we design something better?

Fifty percent of high school students don’t
go on to higher education. Of the 50 percent that do, 43 percent of them
don’t graduate. Of those that do graduate the average graduation
time is six years. The average age of a current college student
today is about 25. And I think 25 percent of college students
today actually have a child. So if you ask me those statistics suggest
two things. The current system is not producing what it
was designed to produce for the types of people that go, the number of people that go and
what they need. And it has not kept up with the modern world
in terms of how it makes itself available and what it charges students to be able to
get what they need. So it’s a combination of availability; It
doesn’t seem to work for the majority of students, because the number one reason that
students don’t go on to further education or drop out of college, it’s a combination
of two things which essentially means the same thing: It’s too expensive, or they
can’t get the classes at the time of day they’re available. And that’s because: of the 70 percent of
kids that go to state schools, 40 percent of them work 30 hours a week or more. All of this is to say that schools are no
longer programmed at the right time. They take too long. They’re too expensive, and what they program
is incomplete. It’s not necessarily bad. our view is the education system needs to
evolve to the way we do everything. Everything we do today comes to us (rather
than us go to them). An example, today we would never wait out
in the rain for a car and hope that we can get a cab. We’ll just hail Uber and it comes and it
takes us exactly where we want to go. Today we wouldn’t go rush home to watch
a TV show at eight o’clock on a Thursday night. We watch it on the device we want to watch
it, when we want to watch it, when it’s convenient for us. Only education continues to require you to
come to it, pay a fortune to do it, and have it be a choice between eating or reading or
learning and earning. And so what Chegg is trying to do is reverse
it, is try to say let’s use what the internet does best. Let’s make it online, on demand. Let’s make it personalized. You do it the way you want to do it, not the
way it’s taught singularly to everybody. Adaptive which means when we watch what you
do and we learn about you, let’s actually adjust how we teach you or what we teach you,
what we give you more of and what we give you less of based on your actual abilities. And then let’s make it exceptionally affordable. And if we do that you’d be amazed how many
students need to learn, want to learn, are willing to learn. So we think that the modern university system
has become too expensive; incomplete programming, inconvenient locations, inconvenient time
of day for the modern workforce which doesn’t have the time to do both. So even if you look at for-profit colleges
they were a mess because they became a scam for a lot of people. But if you realize 3.6 million people at one
time were actually taking it, you realize the demand was there to be able to learn in
your own environment in your own way. Why? Because the average person was a 30-year-old
woman who could not leave her family or her workforce, or in some cases both. So I just think that the modern education
system needs to acknowledge who the modern student is, what the demands on that modern
student are—there’s more of them, they’re more broke, they have more diverse needs. They enter the system with different education,
different backgrounds, different financial situations, and no “one size fits all”
is going to work anymore. And so what we’ve got is we’ve got a lot
of schools – now we’re not talking about the top 50 or 100 schools. Those schools have huge endowments. They’ll be protected for a long time and
they’ll probably continue to be able to teach the smaller part of the population that
can take four years. But the ramifications are—well, here’s
a question for you. Why is there something called a four year
school? Why does college take four years? That’s a random number. Why does a certain course take two years? That’s a random number. It has to do with how many classes they’re
willing to program that you’re able to take. Not how long it takes you to learn the material. Ninety-five percent of the time that you’re
at a four year college you’re not in a classroom in any way, shape or form. In today’s world we binge watch everything
that we want. You can binge watch entire series, albums,
learn anything you want. Why can’t you binge learn your education? If you’re willing to put in the time at
nights, weekends, days, whatever it is and learn and master the subject, why can’t
you finish when you’ve learned the things you’re supposed to learn in order to get
you a job? So the ramifications are colleges are going
to have to take less time to get somebody from learning to earning. There is no reason why it should take four
years. Very little of the population has the time
or the finances to delay earning by four years. Only a small subset do. And so I think the ramifications are you’re
going to see fewer colleges, you’re going to see them combined, more of them are going
to have to get online. They’re going to have to expand their curriculum
to include job skills, and I think you’re going to see a resurgence of institutions
that primarily serve people online. Not because—a teacher can make the argument
there’s nothing better than one-on-one in a classroom. That may be true. That may be true for a lot of kids. It’s certainly not true for everybody. But it’s also 100 percent not available
to anybody. Nobody gets to learn one-on-one in a classroom
anymore. And so our opinion is it’s unfair to say
“Because this is the best way, we’re not going to do the other way” when 90 percent
of the people have no access to the best way. So if education is really going to grow, it’s
really going to proliferate, it’s got to be online, increasingly. It’s got to be on demand. It has to be multimodality. Some people learn by taking tests. Some people learn by watching videos. Some people learn by human intervention and
human help. All of those ways need to be available. There’s no benefit in teaching somebody
who learns this way, this way over here if that’s not going to work for them. And when you look at the scores 43 percent
drop out, they drop out with $7,000 to $9,000 in debt. The ones that survive have $37,000 in debt. So I mean you just look at the math and ask
yourself, do you want to put your kid into that system? The answer has to be no. Why are we taking the most valuable people,
the future of this country and delaying their ability to be productive in the workforce,
delaying their ability to make money, and saddling them with debt larger than anything
else they may do in their life (with the exception of buying a home), and doing it at 18 years
old? To me it just sounds unfair and unfortunate.

100 thoughts on “College education is failing us all. Can we design something better?

  • Yes, we can be a nation of business owners, instead of a nation of employees… with business ownership, the options are endless. In most cases no college necessary.

  • College has been cheapened with with people who are not really that intelligent or have not had a life time of training coming from a higher earnings family. Because of this they found they could take advantage of this new type of person demanding college and wanting to succeed like the children of the elite! Now it is just a giant debt scheme to sucker idiots out of a portion of their money for the rest of their lives in some cases. Oh there are still examples of where that isnt true, but only a few, and that is because they are still havens for the richest or most intelligent people. In the end the elites still win, their kids go to college and come out educated with no debt, while your kids go in and come out a new form of debt slaves to the elites kids.

  • I really wanna become a detective when I grow up so is college really the best option for me to achieve my goal?

  • 9-11-2001 the Average college student barely remember's . We have Endured much Hardship as a Country which has changed our Society indefinitely 馃嚭馃嚫 The Average kid can't Define Reverent馃憟 ! The Baby Boomers have invented and developed Everything we need . Yet more Gene research needs to be done , Go get a Job and be Happy !

  • I agree on many things, the idea of putting purchasable courses online and let the student pick whatever sounds very appealing, but I would still keep some sort of test system to verify if the person actually did learn the subject, or a teacher that would judge you at the end of the course.
    I am a little bit afraid that this will promote lazyness, but automation is doing it anyway so it's worth a shot

  • Higher education has turned into a profit-center cartel.

    Once where education was used to prepare the next generation to function in society, it's become an extortion racket by saddling people with inexcusable usury.

  • This is the fundamental flaw in 'homeschoolings' logic as well. My son needed remedial efforts in his school and I placed him into a learn from home at your own pace system with a charter school to give him the growth he needed to prosper when injected back into the school system. What I discovered was that teachers were doing more work to individualize the teaching method than they were in actually teaching their courses. If an instructor has 200 students in a course and are obligated to screen time for each one, yet none of their schedules are the same, with only a few overlapping, there isn't enough of them or time in the day to maintain this. What happens is that the course still has to maintain a schedule for adherence and course completion. That may not be convenient but it is both physically and mentally better for the educator. The at home education relied on our own efforts so much that at times I felt like I was wearing all of the schools hats for them; principle, teacher, support staff. This is because the teachers, like those college professors, relied on the commitment to participate as much as they relied on completing the work. Double duty was my job as a parent, but as a college student myself, it was true then too. It is a sacrifice! I left college early for one reason-lack of funds to support going longer. It wasn't convenience! My decision to go to school was all mine. I wasn't wrangled by a recruiter military style or drafted. Same can be said for the homeschooling program. Our efforts determined my sons success, we chose the program, we committed to it, we found the time. Same goes for college-you're an adult by that time, you should know that you are sacrificing time and resources and should full well hold yourself responsible to that standard however inconvenient.

  • Most all those with higher educations are indoctrinated into the global warming – climate change hysteria. The globalization of the earth, and the forfeiture of freedom and privacy for the greater good. I find those with higher degree a danger to the sovereignty of the USA.

  • Not sure if this will help but: Take out SJW classes and the mob mentality of anything that isn't on the left must be evil group think.

  • And I might go back to college, I just don't want another recession to happen when I finish. During that duration, companies didn't want to hire college grads, they hired the experience ones in the field.

  • Is "Big Think" an advertising agency for Chegg? As one of the 1st MOOC developers, I believe the future is with Professors in Creative Spaces, not Lecture Halls. In fact, MIT is using it's EdX for mobile learning, freeing up Professors to Mentor Students in research, art residencies "Learning by Doing". The future of College will be focused on the intern/apprentice student to Professor. What will not be in College Future; a legion of Administrators, expensive Sports programs, 5-star dorms, eating & leisure services. With the bloated cost gone, State/Fed yearly support of $11,000/student, will not need tuition from students. This new College will fund the creative spaces and Teaching staff, which will solve the Adjunct Professor low wage & Student debt problems.
    Currently, World Mentoring Academy[WMA] and EdX has lining up MOOC courses with Maker spaces, artist residencies, Film studios in the community. WMA students can earn Bachelors in 60+ majors from several State Colleges in 6 mos or self pace for less than $5,000 books & College fees.

  • We live in internet age, one could learn whatever they want, if it鈥檚 up to learning. It鈥檚 our society that has different standards for graduates and non graduates. Maybe we ought to work on that.

  • How else are these colleges and universities supposed to scam people out of their money and lock them into a lifetime of debt?

  • Terrible . College is about challenges meeting others you agree and disagree with. Keep college the way it is. Just make housing cheaper dependent on grades. Online college works only when the person learning it wants to learn it. Most college student today cheat for the peice of paper. Now give them access to cheat more. Give any college student a basic high school exam. Most score below passing, . In My opinion

    what about cash flow? Who pays how much do they pay ? With net neutrality off the books.who and what would these children young adults be learning?

  • Man, this guys calls it like it is. He makes too much sense and his ideas are too sound for anyone to actually put them to good use.

  • 飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富飧烩富 says:

    It's struggling since it stops creativity and free thinking. It's also the fact that society is trying too hard to reward mediocrity. We bunch everyone into the statistics and only the people that are above average that benefit. It could also be what you do with the degree and the act of not falling into the trap of thinking you deserve a job.

    The harsh truth is that you'll find it really hard to make a living, if you don't do something that is in demand. There is really no alternative that is flawless. I hear trade school, but where do all the lawyers go? And if you go drop out, it's not magically better. It'll be even harder.

  • The entire Education system failed. For profit Colleges are just profiting off cultural misconceptions. The most successful people either, never needed college, or dropped out.

  • Yes we can design something better but the system won't accept it even if it's 1000 times better because……$$$$$…..Politics…&…Control

  • I studied engineering in college and I always thought I was wasting time taking liberal art credits that the college required to take. I had to delay graduation because I was 3 liberal/humanities credits short. I decided to take extra engineering courses which were more relevant to my internet but it ended up costing me more.

  • If you are smart then college is amazing because you can grow, network, and have so many amazing resources that would be harder to find without. But yea a lot of people are not very smart and they can't take full advantage of it, they just use it to get a piece of paper. It is what you make of it. Not for everyone that's for sure.

  • Online classes?!!? That's your big idea!?!?! And binge learning? Don't get me wrong, I have some positive things to say about some of his ideas and I'm sure this guy knows his business and specific field, but there are many better experts out there who have better answers for this problem.

  • In half-Socalist Europe there are exactly these kinds of schools he mentioned, they're too expensive for what they're doing but affordable (round about 鈧130/month). Can't really imgaine that it's that different in the US?

  • The college education is not failing. What is failing is industry's unwillingness to train people for the jobs they have. They cry the sad tears that they can't hire the people they want. They want students to be indebted for a lifetime so they can work for low wages and never be able to get out of the debt crisis. The billionaires would rather spend time on their dozen or so yachts rather than take the responsibility to train their workers. The billionaires demand a handout from taxpayers who pay for colleges, and students who go into debt to try to get a job. Wake up people. don't let the tears of the billionaires put blinders on your eyes. You are not a mule.

  • I have done both sit down in classroom education and online courses. There is clearly no comparison. Sitting down in a classroom with the teacher at the board is 1000 times better than online education. End of story.

  • I'm not american but I tried college now in my mid twenties in a mixed mode of online and on site classes. Whiile you can ask the teacher things and they often use a lot more of examples to explain the subject I noticed she used like 4 hours to deliver the content I could take in 1 hour easily at home reading/watching because much of the time is spent organizing things or explaining again to someone who didn't understand it the first time. I'm full online now and saving a lot of time and transportation costs, the only thing I miss sometimes is networking, but nothing is perfect.

  • We need enterprise/institution's cooperation and support, lots of them REQUIRES just a collage degree, not a skill certification, etc.

  • I hardly say anything nice about the college system but most of your points are already being done by the college I attend in St. Petersburg Florida called SPC. Many options when choosing classes when it comes to times/day/night classes. Most classes have the option to be entirely online or half online/half in class. There's summer courses and express courses that let you do your class in half the time of a normal semester (similar to what you call "binge classes") all this is just coming from student. oh btw, I've never had to spend a single dime on my classes or books. everything was state paid. AND they paid ME the remaining money each semester that I didn't use ! it pays to be a Floridian

  • I don't understand what fucking point this man is trying to make and what he is trying to argue about. He seems confused and out of touch with reality. Look, the bottom line is simple: if you want to get into a a graduate program, you need a bachelors degree from a four year institution. I went to a california state school and got a social science degree. It had its pros and its cons and it took me six years to do it. Im now going on to get my masters degree. The education system didn't fail me. It doesn't fail anyone. It only fails people who are too stupid to do anything with their degree.

  • If you're stupid enough to pay a crap ton of money for a crappy degree from a crappy pop-up, for profit school then its good you're in debt and jobless

  • Perhaps people are wiseing up and learning to think for themselves. Education is indoctrination, is it wiser to accept without question what you are taught, or wiser to question what you are taught to accept only find you don't agree with the current curriculum. Or maybe people realise that the jobs do not exist for those who go on to further "education" will end up as "slaves" paying back their college debts.

  • They have this type of education in trade schools and such. I always thought college was for a well-rounded education, in both social and intellectual aspects. Part of the tuition goes to the facilities and services for group clubs, organizations, etc.

  • This resoning is quite flawed. What he's talking about is professional education. Universities do not provide these services, or, to be more precise, they give much more than that. Or at least they should, in principle (which is often forgotten nowadays!). In universities, next to a profession, one gains wide education in many unrelated, yet important fields. There is simply no way young people would chose to study parallel stuff they study at university voluntarily (say, economics or physics if one wants to become a software engineer). Some would but the vast majority wouldn't.
    It's completely normal majority of people do not get a university degree. They should go study a chosen profession and be done in two years or less. University is not about that. Now, obviously, one can get educated nowadays without a university. Just like one can become a, say, professional tennis player without a coach. But that is difficult and unlikely.
    The main problem we are facing is not how to prepare people for work faster but how to make sure people can live in the modern world (vote for the best option, take meaningful part in the public debate, think logical, be reasonable, detect disinformation and misinformation, spend money wisely, adapt to changes, etc.). Nobody has come up with a good solution to that problem yet, imho. If anything, we need more education, not less 馃檨

  • I think education should not be reduced to a training for a particular job. At the college you do not only learn something about the field you are studding – you also grow as a person and learn how to learn later on in live. The problem you have in the US (I am from Germany) is that you look at education as a business. But that is not true – its a fundamental part of a society and as such it should be available to everyone based on talent and not based on money.

  • Teaching is a repeating process. With the only exception of doubts being cleared. Online videos which helps to visualize through sound and animation of Hollywood quality is the need of the hour. A database system that can assist in doubts solving in real time will be appreciated by students. There should be sort of question based wizard for the purpose.

  • Most of these concerns are America-centric.

    Universities in other countries already offer online and part-time programmes. And not all countries have 4-year undergraduate degrees as a standard. Most undergraduate degrees in Australia are 3-years full-time with a longer academic year than the US.

    In Ireland I was able to do a full-time under-graduate degree at night, while also working full-time during the day. My masters degree was part-time over two-years while I was working full-time and included two online modules, though I still had to attend the exams for the online modules in person.

    As an adult with adult financial responsibilities from a working-class family, I wouldn't have been in a position to undertake this kind of study if it weren't for this flexibility.

  • You can't "binge learn" 鈥 to learn, our brain needs off-time to process what it had to take in. And debt is exactly the part of the problem he does not fully address. Yeah, he does, in a way, but he does not question the underlying idea of paying and getting in debt for education, and his solution is just reducing the time and making it a bit cheaper by going online (so that the debt is reduced). It does not sound like a real solution to me, but I guess this is because I'm German and have a completely different perspective on education.

  • I recommend high end trades. For instance MRI Maintenance. Back in the day I learned to fix typewriters. Very independent type of work. Later got a full degree but the damned cubicles suck.

  • There's too many people, including my husband, that has a four year degree working in a factory with people with just a HS diploma. That degree has done nothing but cost us debt. We've tried to find a job with it but the job he has now pays more than one his degree requires. Why??? I don't get it.

  • AND an education should not saddle you with debt for years and years and years. It's ridiculous. You're not even guaranteed a job.

  • 'college education" in general? or are we talking the USA? if you look at global stats, the entire rest of the world is beating the pants off the USA… going to take a little more than wearing a MAGA hat to get the job done. seriously, if people can't afford condoms, you think they can afford college?

  • How about the diploma? it is an integral requirements. : ( . . . even though I have learned many discipline and subjects, they still requesting for a Diploma as an evidence, not relying on the knowledge learned. How can I land for a Job, like Neuroscientist.

  • This guy is wrong about it being 'arbitrary', because while it is true it never needed to be 4 years (some did it in 3). The 4 years pertains to a standard scheduling for any particular system and only at a certain level. The amount of time is just as much to do with the human condition beyond studies, and that has always evolve overtime. What is study within those years set a 'standard' for that level, it's 'basic' college, the most specialized and in depth of study & self-study happens beyond the standard 4 years and those takes as long as it takes. Or did he mistake a 4 year degree for a PhD?

    He is thinking in terms of 'modern workforce' and entirely focus on what he cares to hire instead of the purpose of education & learning. He isn't interested in improving education, worst he is thinking it as another quick gratification product no different from a for profit college. And those comments that think he is so right has more problems with "liberal arts" having the word 'liberal' and not understanding the purpose beyond their petty politics. Big Think has really drop their standard.

  • This is exactly what me and my fellow students talk about constantly. We have video's where a teacher took the time to make a video once to explain certain topics. Now the whole year of my study can watch that, rewind that, and the next year probably can as well.

    Way less laborcost and you don't have to travel all the way to school. It's perfect. And yet, it's still required to attend class. I'm fucking 20, I'm nog 14 anymore, just grand me that responsibility

  • Why did he not just come out and says, educated idiots are everywhere these days.

    The degrees colleges offered to students are often useless pieces of paper that show how much time and money you have wasted.
    Example – degree in medical billing and coding. Very few hospitals even do their own medical billing and coding anymore. They send it to a company to handle this for them (outsource). Those people working at the outsourced company are trained in the field by those companies.
    Lets not even talk about liberal arts degrees.
    How many college graduates are working at Walmart, McDonald's, and factories. Graduating from college does not guarantee anyone a job nor does it prove how intelligent or qualified or motivated the person is. However there are a lot of jobs available for people willing to do trade specific training.
    I would like to see recognized certifications given for on the job training, this would spark company loyalty and incentive for businesses to hire people and train them into a career. it would also spark employees to work harder and be more loyal to the places they work.

  • I recently contacted a trade school that teaches aviation mechanics. It is a full-time program for 18 months, costs $40,000 and the typical starting wage is around $40k. After 5 years, perhaps $50k. In general, this is a lower cost than any 4-year college but even this is brutal. Especially true for people that have to support themselves during school and live in a big city like LA where $40k is enough to live, but not with any debts. I passed on this one in favor of my 'internet self-education'.

  • Dont be dumb. The system is doing perfectly what it was designed for. If everyone had a successful school education, there would be no one to do cheap labor. YOU the individual has to come out on top. YOU have to beat it, not expect the system to carry you to the end.
    And yes it is YOU the parents fault if your child doesnt make it. Because the most important and effective education is the one they learn at home. And if you think keeping them confined in a room to learn from Hollywood is a substitute, just look at a lot of identity-less millenials today to see your end product.

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign college of Engineering had a departmental policy of flunking out up to half of the incoming freshmen students before they reached matriculation. This policy was in effect for at least forty yeas from 1950 – 1990 and a variant is still in use today. We were even told in freshmen orientation that half of us would never graduated. This was accomplished by grading on the curve. 5% F, 10% D, 50% C, 25% B, 10 % A so .85 x .85 x .85 x .85 = .52 Conclusion: for each graduating senior, another student was flunked out and their life was thrown in the garbage. Modern Education.

  • I don鈥檛 know where this guy got his numbers but college enrollment of recent HS grads is more like 70% it hasn鈥檛 been 50% since the 80s…

  • It's failing because they're frauding the system all of us are just faceless lemmings being pushing in then right back out just for money it's absolotely nout to do with expense or the classes they need any more it hasn't for a while… when we aren't even being given adequate, quality experience and right now they're trying things like throwing stripper parties to at least try and win back male students… that's disgusting, cheap and sleezy, they want ppl to stay blinded by all the things they've been told that it's life and death without going to college, it's life and death not getting perfect scores in exams but even in high school ppl are doing their exams and then realizing what a waste of time it is when they tell u everything u even do in high school is meant to help u in later life but it absolotely doesn't…

    It's years of our life wasted all just to get whatever money they can out of it and keep teachers in their jobs and i'm disgusted at the silence of the majority of teachers blindly doing and saying awful things to ppl JUST to keep their job… they claim to be teachers but aren't actually doing anything real to fit the title of their role… just like doctors, nurses, cops and a whole bunch of other careers… nothing is what it's supposed to be everyone is faffing around in order to commit mass fraud on the system… and it's on such a huge scale that the boards of education and whoever else responsible will obviously get away with it since there's too many ppl involved. I will always be left fuming and i will never have anything gd to say about a lot of things as long as it stays as corrupt and disrespectful as it is, i spent 5 and a half years in courses only to get absolotely no where… then when i actually did well for once i was accused of cheating… that tells u they absolotely DO NOT want u doing well.

    I've left it all behind me but i'm disgusted and SO fuming beyond words at everyone that THIS is the world i was born into and have to be put through all of this and i know i'm not the only one… parents in China are currently trying to get Tuition fees back from Private schools which is how far this has gone but sadly i doubt that will happen because there's a 5 month or rather 4 month limit where u can get a refund but they won't give it all back either they'll keep a quater to half of it and that's just wrong they should give it all back every penny… they make money off ppl who don't even fully go through with private schools or courses but as i said even if u do it gets u no where not really…

    They know that most of the subjects taught at colleges and unis too aren't realistic to teach in a schooling sort of setting only some things are like IT, Medical Terminology, Health and Fitness, Geography, Math, English, Creative Writing, Languages, Interior Design, Construction and Mechanics (although college can't teach everything about Construction and Mechanics either), Cooking and a few other things but anything else it's not realistic to teach in a school setting but again everyone knows this and they're making a TONE of money off this too, even the things that are realistic to teach though they're sabotaging the whole proccess and at the end of it you'll be left unable to do anything with it because it was THAT bad. What will replace it? well… supposidly ppl are working on a software model based on Khan Acadamy but even then… The Education System will try to fraud it and that needs to be prevented from happening it's the only way we'll every move onto a better world too because a society thrives when ppl are adequately and properly taught not just pushed in and out like a factory worker then left with nothing. This is happening on a Global scale NOT just America.

  • If people are allowed to learn what they want to learn, why does Big Think draw only thousands of views, whereas mindless sensational pablum draw millions of views. People need to be pushed to learn, otherwise they'll devolve into lazy bums. It's like the argument for a universal income, which will never be a reality. A universal income allows people to cancel appointments and dispense with responsibilities as they choose when they already have financial comfort. Society needs the slap in backside to inspire action

  • One item these guys always seem to miss is the human networking. A lot of the first jobs are obtained based on connections and without the first job breaking into a field is pretty harsh.

  • Great video. I recently dropped my college class. Didn鈥檛 see the value in it compared to things I have access to online.

  • Thanks for posting this interesting and much discussed topic… Access to higher education differs from country-to-country. The US higher education system is a "special case", that is "hard" to compare to say Latin American, Asian and African higher education systems. While in Europe, the statistics are far more dire, completion and outcomes match or exceed those in the US. While it is an interesting argument, my (negative) experience with publicly accredited Australian distance learning university suggests, it is not the panacea it is made out to be… I have found that distance learning requires being more disciplined, driven, and organized than you would going to a "normal" day college. Having completed my undergraduate degree in the UK, l decided to 'work-and-learn' and avoid the repeat of the unhappy and highly isolating undergraduate experience; after l started it became clear that l could not 'work-and-learn', l had to study or work. I chose the primary and work during one of the 3, 4 month terms in a year. I became more isolated, frustrated, and driven with distance learning than l had been in University – l had a supportive parent and a lot of gumption to push through. I had chosen to follow an Australian MBA program, which shares much like a British MCom degree from the 1950s in transferable skills and practical outcomes. While l must say the degree outcomes were good, l managed to complete 8 modules, out of the 12, and was granted a postgraduate diploma in Business, l was unable to complete the whole degree. I would argue that is because the university did not provide adequate support during the course for its modules. The (hard) work was all up to me. The distance learning support was inadequate especially for quantitative subjects as decision support tools, managerial accounting, and finance. So much so that the current incarnation of the program has fused the accounting and finance modules into one, and transformed the decision support tools to include business ethics and C.S.R. Coming from an Asian (mixed) background, educational attainment is very important. So my mum suggested l go to a "normal" graduate school program in the UK again. I went, having completed a PGDip in Business but lacking confidence in accounting and the like, l decided to go to a "good" UK university – l could as l had matriculated at another "red brick" (The worst red brick might l add – Hull) prior to that, l got into this prestigious engineering school with a scholarship. Things went down hill after that, the department was highly politicized, and students were treated atrociously. I did very well with my courses, having learned from my distance learning program how to "study", l managed to pass all the modules with good grades. I read through the materials and studied them, thank to the transferable skills l had gained from the distance learning program – that, ironically l had taught myself! There was a general panic about the thesis module, which constituted 60% of the program, as the staff did not prepare us for it… It would become my sticking point. Well the initial thesis advisor was a perverted creepy Greek man who worked at Glasgow University's Adam Smith Business school, whose surname, by the way in Cypriot slang means feces – that he was, l have never met such an unethical, lying, disturbed and pervert of a thesis advisor as that man. Anyway after wasting my time for 3 months, he suggested l pay him to complete the thesis (I had won a scholarship to the program and there was no thesis fee), under the table. Because l could not graduate with my class, l started to magically receive melodramatic emails from unknown people and departmental staff stating that they had been isolated when they were studying at the London Business School, and that it would all be "okay"… It became amply clear to me that either way, distance learning and in-situ learning are one in the same. Well, l did not hear anything from the school for several months and was denied access to my online learning environment that had been blocked (the school disputes this… if you can't access the online environment you are no longer a student), and l move to France, applying to a publicly funded grande ecole, and was accepted. The head of the department had been assigned to be my thesis advisor, he was another "diva" and he accused me of being rude and a trouble-maker, he expelled me, and then he sent a letter stating that l had been awarded the PGDip. I had not sat the thesis. My mum who always believes l have to complete what l start, no matter what, started to tell the school in the UK about my predicament… the Administration was not aware of the matter, and was surprised. The head of department got a big telling off, and l was allowed to proceed with the thesis – one year later might l add. Well missing school for a year and a half, it was now nearly 3 years since l had been on the program. I started in September, and finished in April the following year. My communication with the Dutch bastard was awful, but l managed to figure out what l had to put in the thesis, l made a lot of mistakes, and l had lost interest in the program, graduating my thesis module with a mere 50%. This is a personal journey – however reflecting back on the teaching, l survived not because l was a "good" student grade wise, its because l learned to put in the work. Why do people fail at distance learning or normal university? Its because they lack the essential study skills and know-how needed to succeed, and that their basic educational training is inadequate. I was not particularly nerdy, artistic or creative as a kid, l did read a lot. However both my parents made sure l rose at 5 AM before my dad got sick, and l had school before l went to school, then l had normal school, and when l came home l had more school. I was not very good at school, but l tried – or so l thought. Its a long story, l doubt anyone is going to read it! However its not the hard work, but how your education is structured. I was lucky that I was exposed to an unusual curriculum when l was in junior high and high school. The problem with distance learning, is that the materials in the courses tend to be very hard and schools don't offer support, students who fall into the trap thinking they can juggle it all – can rarely do that. There needs to be at primary and secondary level, better education, that includes teaching kids how to study and study by themselves. Its no good, to say, oh kids, its great… you have to figure it out yourself. Thinking back the key things that helped me were my interest in reading books (saucy and romantic ones and then irritating my parents by replacing names in those books with theirs… and reading it aloud… lots of red ears!), but also the systematic way l was taught in private school and at home. My relatives don't send their kids to school, most home school them, using a program my parents developed. One family, whose kids started Open University UK when they were 14-15 years old have all completed their BA business degrees by the age of 23-24, while still completing their IGCSE ) O and A-levels. Both their parents are teachers of course, and they know how to teach. My question was, why don't you teach that to the kids in your class? The general response, was why should we? The lack of support is pervasive throughout all levels of education. And that is why kids fail – distance learning is not going to help if you don't have the learning tools you need to succeed.

  • We need less and less objective approach in education and more subjective approach. How do I function . what is happening within me, how do I learn, to be more confident creative, to develop my faculties of learning consciously. This is what gets you ahead in the world …not grades.

  • You know its kind of simple just cut off from the Federal Student Loans or better yet the Government shouldn't be participating at all in education

  • I do think more students should do online coursework and eschew living on campus. Few really need to be there and if the parents are well off enough, the student could live with their families and go through all the coursework and get it done while working at some kind of honest work. Heck, the able bodied and sound of mind could learn a trade skill and start work right away, while going through online coursework and getting it all done. I have no idea why kids bother living on campus and trying to juggle both earning a living and attending classes when they could be getting just as good an education online and enjoy flexibility.

  • Most public high schools "guidance counselors" scare/ intimidate /humiliate/pressure pregrads into signing up for college and student loans thats wat creates the inevitable college drop out rate of 43% with unimaginable debt and fear . What happened to this concept made more popular by psyc industry called "being accountable / accountability " ??? How about the counsler is accountable for the life destroying debt piled on drop outs who sud never been push into over priced " education ". One case in particular for a girl who never picked up a book , blew off homework all threw highschool , barely graduated , and forced into a college with a tuition 4x that of the state university (for a photography degree ) Sick very sick , guess how that turned out . Another case of a student with 0 family emotional / $ support goes from decent community to stripclub to pay for an art college debt from a college that offered less content than her "eighth grade art class" .. truly anyone can be trained for almost any job before they graduate highschool. Boys tech and Girls tech highschools used to be very successful used to turn out nurses , engineers etc many great critical thinkers , great workers . While dinosaurs are real , we cud start by removing all the stupid evolutionary bs content out of public schools , that wud open up alot of time for more reality. Darwin said he didn't believe it him self , he was just tring to prove a theory, a weak one at that , finches are the same but different , hmm they must hav evolved , lets look for proof there isn't any , the end , or lets turn it into a religion and teach it in public schools , anyone who knows what a leap second is knows the world is not 56billion years old

  • First off, we should throw out all of this current school system because it's senseless, mostly. Then start teaching every person about science and medicine, on computers mostly, from age 3-5 because it's what every person needs to know. The geniuses should be advanced much faster than others. Then by the time they're14-16-20 they'll be where most "doctors" are at the age of the current school system would be after "college". At age 25-30 they finally get to START learning to be a doctor! Because it's absurd to let people who want to be doctors go through this current system, where they learn almost nothing they need to know to be a doctor until about age 22-30. Everyone needs to be a doctor, knowledge-wise, even if they don't become a doctor, especially the geniuses, but some will become doctors earlier than others. And the whole world needs everyone to be doctors so they are never forced to work 60-80 hours straight without sleep, which is insane, because as you know, tired people make more mistakes, and if it's surgery, many patients die because doctors are too tired. But if there are more doctors, that will stop overwork mistakes. If everyone is a doctor and scientist, then we'll discover cures to diseases much faster, obviously, including children who could accidentally discover cures. And now millions of people are too poor want to be doctors but can't afford to go to school ever! So we have to redistribute money equally worldwide, obviously too. The current outdated system of school can, and must be, eliminated! Like I said when I was a teenager, "the only reason we go to school is so teachers can have jobs" because what we learned was all nonsense, and unnecessary, including…..everything! (I think all suicides are caused by boredom and depression, because we鈥檙e not learning what we should: science and medicine, which would be exciting!) No one should end up with $200,000 debt after college and Med school, because all learning should be free! With capitalism, it's a miracle we have any doctors at all! There never should have been any unequal wealth! It's caused by wage slavery, which is slavery, and the cause of world poverty. Then we can eliminate all advertisements about college loans, tuition fees, scholarships etc. We should eliminate every ad anyway (misleading), and especially candy and sodas! Seeing all those ads makes people think about food/candy all the time and then they might become obese and unhealthy. We should teach all people worldwide how to get a guaranteed income through ONE MLM (no buying or selling anything), and end all buying and selling (Isaiah 55:1) so everything is free. Then we also need to build only Tower cities connected to maglev Trains (T&T) in which only people who want and have a guaranteed income will be allowed. (That shuts down people who don't want T&T.) We also need T&T on Mars because someday the Earth won't exist (or so scientists say:).

  • Well if education continues online in more convenient and accessible ways, then how does actually getting a degree work?? Or a certificate degree? Many employers won鈥檛 accept someone with out proof of a degree from at least 4 years worth of education. Engineering, sciences, and business will still probably require degree practices and will still need group or professional teaching methods for how hands on many of those education paths are. Those may not change anytime soon.

  • I think he gets the essence that is really important for most societies. From a psychological perspective, you could argue the other way, however. Maybe because we are used to binge everything we consume, we dont have the patience for todays system? Im not sure about the litterature on pedagogics and learning, but there are some skills that takes time to learn, where practice over a period of time with interleaves secure better and deeper learning (assuming you code the learning deep). So i鈥檓 not sure if it is a good idea to 芦rush禄 certain ideas and courses, but perhaps focus on teaching young people the best way of their way of learning and use of time/time-efficiency. Please come with feedback on my thought!

  • I haven't learned jack shit from any online course ever and I am always one of the most passionate and interactive learners in any classroom. I need to be able to interact with my peers and my professors or my education would be worthless. Fuck technology and the isolation it brings, and fuck this video and this guy for suggesting we give less so that more of us can receive less. I need my COMMUNITY. And as it turns out, if you really, and I mean REALLY want to be a student, like me, you don't need a whole lot of money because you can take out student loans and worry about that shit once you get to the place that you know you're going to go. That's what I'm doing, because I know I'm going to be a professor one day and none of this money stuff is going to matter at all because I'm going to be doing what I set out to do from the start. I am in my 6th year of college and I haven't had any help from family, and my financial aid ran out 2 years ago. I work a part time night job cleaning sales floors in department stores and supplement that with loans and a budget lifestyle.

  • You act like people just haven't thought about other ways to educate. The system is working PERFECTLY for the people who are making MONEY off of it. Student debt isn't the bug in the system for them, its the feature. Public education should NEVER have become a profit making enterprise. Until you change THAT, the system will ALWAYS work against the student.

  • College education is failing us all. Can we design something better? Probably not in time to do anything meaningful in my life ! : (

  • college is NOT 'education'. We do not need more 'schooling' or 'indoctrination'. We NEED true education. People need to learn to THINK. Education is FREE.

  • What he said isn鈥檛 necessarily wrong but I think he is prescribing a simplistic solution to an immensely complicated problem. Online based education is great. We definitely should make use of modern technology. No doubt about that. But that is not a complete solution. It鈥檒l only be part of the solution.

  • Honestly this has largely been taking care of with skillshare, it鈥檚 on demand, not expensive and very conducive to the modern world.

  • College is for those that need it. If you're planning on becoming apart of the Med, Law or Engineering fields or any other major that requires it then you definitely need a degree. Other majors its not really needed, you'd need more experience either way whatever you learn experience will be needed regardless

  • when i went to college the education i recieved was utter shit. Also consider the fact that high school does not prepare you for the way these folks "teach" which is basically just to sit there and ramble on about random shit, hand you a fat book, say "read it" and nothing on the tests were covered in person. completely opposite from high school. so now you have "doctors" going to school paying out the ass hole and guess what?! medical care thusly becomes too expensive for many and we have a bunch of sick people running around unable to pay for any medical care. Society is fucked man.

  • Teachers: All of you should go to college to learn things
    Students: I need college to learn thing
    Internet: Do I not exist to either of you?

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