Jack Uldrich
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Questioning Higher Education

Posted in Ask a New Question, College, Education, University

Unknown "If Harvard were really the best education, if it makes that much of a difference, why not franchise it so more people can attend?"

This excellent question — which I would categorize under the art of asking a new question — comes compliments of Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, who believes there is a serious "bubble" in higher education. (Personally, I agree and have written so about it here and here.)

Regardless of what you believe the merits of a 4-year college education are, I encourage you to read this article on Thiel's ideas. In addition to posing the above question, I like how Thiel is willing to challenge the idea that if you get a college education (even at elite university such as Harvard) that it will necessarily provide you with safety and comfort in the future.

Equally provocative is Thiel's comment that "so many people unquestioningly accept the conventional wisdom of getting a four-year education there is little to no counter-narrative."

And why is a counter-narrative necessary? Because society didn't have enough counter-narratives during the Internet and home mortgage bubbles–and a lot of people ended up getting burned.

P.S. If you are wondering just who might get burned consider the recent unemployed college graduate with a $150,000 debt.

Interested in other areas in which higher education institutions might need to unlearn? Check out these older posts by Jack Uldrich:

A Futurist's Perspective on Education

Unlearning the Four-Year College Education

Is the Future of College $99-a-Month?



One thought on “Questioning Higher Education”

  1. Monica says:

    Watch Peter Thiel discuss Rewards for Students to Drop Out of College, Democracy Failing As a Technology, Libertarians and Women, and take questions during his interview (3/23/11)- http://f4a.tv/e8PHHL

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