Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Higher Education is too Important to Not Protect
Much of the problem we face is the entrenchment of what higher education. We think it is expensive structures, traditional mindset and the protection of privilege that makes higher education valuable. The problem is that these things are costly to maintain and take a lot of money out of the hands of our national coffers. But perhaps there is a different way?
When we think of higher education we should think about its essential purposes of raising our skill levels, expanding our mental capacity and transferring knowledge from one generation to the next. The forms and methods we use to maintain our higher education status is open for debate. Few politicians seem to have any solid answers.
While we discuss higher education in terms of loans and Pell Grants we should keep in mind that higher education is a process that has an end result in expanding our economy and making us a competitive nation. It isn't that we shouldn't be protecting and supporting higher education but that we should seek better and more cost effective methods of educating.
Online education has grown in recent decades and is used by both traditional and non-traditional schools. We also have certificates, continuing education and trades schools. Each focuses on a specific need within the market to fulfill the knowledge gap. We need them all in one form or another.
If we as a nation want higher education to continue forward we will need to rethink its expensive form and try and develop better methods that allow greater access. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be supporting research and the gaining of new knowledge, but it does mean that we should focus on the essential purposes of advanced education in our rethinking process. Many of the structures, regulations, and restrictions are designed more to protect the "status quo" then it is to educate people. Wouldn't it be great if our educational process focused on educating people than protecting artificial structures?