right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Even the Ivies know their model is in danger

poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
I don't know if this has been posted yet, but it's an excellent discussion about the pressures all universities will face from technology and why colleges should not be, and the most intelligent schools are not, comforted by the lower quality of the current online education offerings.

http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/08/11/tottering-ivory-towers/
143 replies
· Reply · Share
«13456710

Replies to: Even the Ivies know their model is in danger

  • poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    The conclusion is interesting and likely very right:
    To survive in this rapidly changing world, existing institutions will have to do two things well. First, just like newspapers establishing paywalls or airlines selling seats at different prices to different customers, they will have to learn how to “price discriminate” rather than depend on cross-subsidies to maintain the elite and expensive parts of their brand. Not everyone wants to rub shoulders with top professors in tutorials. Many would gladly do the bulk of courses online. Some students want a credential as quickly and cheaply as possible. But others are willing to pay more for a high level of interaction, just as some people pay more for “concierge” physicians who are available outside of regular hours and spend more time with patients. They don’t all need to pay the same tuition or have access to the same level and range of services, any more than people flying from New York to Paris in the same plane pay the same or get the same service or seat size.

    Second, they will have to determine their true competitive advantage. Is it a beautiful campus? Is it small seminars with world-class academics? Future professional contacts? Or is it good quality classes at a low price? They will need to perfect and build on that advantage, and let someone else deliver other parts of the total higher education package. This means many colleges must accept that much basic course content will be delivered by other providers for free or nearly for free. We’ll see a steady increase in basic courses provided less expensively and closer to home by community colleges and new ventures, often in formal partnership with universities and perhaps some businesses. Expect the equivalent of intramural or intervarsity sports to be organized by local high schools. And expect the distinction between college degrees and employer-sponsored credentialing to blur.
    · Reply · Share
  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12668 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,697 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    I believe that this article describes the future of higher ed in America.

    The great research universities that can exist solely by doing research will still go on, but
    tons of LACs & other small privates will disappear.

    It will be better in some ways and worse in others, but the "college experience" will likely be very different.
    edited August 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    20 years from now, people who grossly overpaid for their bricks & mortar college experience and are still paying off their massive student loans, will feel like incredible chumps.
    · Reply · Share
  • halfemptypocketshalfemptypockets 570 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 575 Member
    20 years from now, people who grossly overpaid for their bricks & mortar college experience and are still paying off their massive student loans, will feel like incredible chumps.

    A lot of them already do.
    · Reply · Share
  • ExodiusExodius 153 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    "All universities" = "the ivies"?

    At least the writer notes that nearly all colleges share a faulty model instead of dumping the allegation on only the "elite schools." :)>-
    If you don't go to college at all:

    1. You won't become an "entitled little s--t." If you do, you can blame that vice on poor parenting, middle school, high school, or "affluenza."
    2. You won't live in a college bubble. You will get more than your fair share of diversity by walking up and down the street. With the money you save from not having to fill some Faceless Bureaucrat's coffers, you might travel the world, do something good for someone.
    3. You can get an education on your terms. No mediation, no faking hobbies to look good for college applications, no professorial agenda, no bureaucracy, no sordid consumption and obscene wealth, no need to converse with the lowlife vocational types, no worries about prestige and branding, no phony networking and conjuring up drivel for cocktail parties, and your pockets are four years and up to two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars heavier.


    (I can understand why the academic would transform the religious college into his Romantic Dream. Presumably, the strictures of religion prevent people with incessantly active minds from rolling off the intellectual cliffside. But those are colleges like any other.)

    A facetious take on the "Ivory Towers."
    · Reply · Share
  • saxsax 5272 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    To take it a step further companies will increase their use of consultants and virtual employees. If the job can be done on line it will be given to the best bid in the world. Companies will be more interested in your ability to do a specific job and will look at ability and past work rather than diplomas. Even certification will lose some of its charm as long as consultants get the job done. Companies can build a test for each job needed and you will test on line for accuracy and speed.

    In 2011 my son went through a series of online tests from a company before being offered a job.

    It's a new world. Changes are coming fast and furious.

    With pensions disappearing, retirement accounts being self funded and health insurance no longer tied to employment there is no reason for a person to work for one company. There is no reason for companies to fund these perks. There is no more need to be loyal.

    My kids are well aware they need to constantly keep on top of new skills in order to remain relevant in today's working world. Many of these skills are gained by being self taught through online sources.

    4 yr degrees will become outdated in just a few years.
    edited August 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    4 yr degrees will become outdated in just a few years.

    This is a really interesting perspective @sax Do you mean that a students four year degree will itself be outdated in four years, or the four year degree model itself will be outdated not long from now?

    The first seems like it could already be happening, and the second seems like a real possibility, long term.
    · Reply · Share
  • zobrowardzobroward 3741 replies193 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,934 Senior Member
    people taking basket weaving will be a much smaller group of students.(rich kids) those who will need other peoples money to attend college will be expected and understand that a viable degree will be required off them.
    · Reply · Share
  • poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    I don't know, though. I think the idea may be to bring the price down to a reasonable level so that people don't have to take all that much of other people's money. I think, though, it's more about losing control of the educational model the way the music industry and print media has.
    · Reply · Share
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,508 Senior Member
    I don't buy it. Sorry.

    Search for these phrases: "Take my online class." and "Write my term paper." When I search for those terms, I find commercial operations offering to take onerous academic tasks out of my hands. With time, these functions could perhaps be automated, so we'll find computers taking classes taught by computers. (As, apparently, some scientific papers published in journals were written by computers.)

    Just as writing exercises for classes are becoming classroom-based exercises (as who can tell if the student wrote the paper, or if it was a cut-and-paste job), we'll find a greater need for in-person class attendance. The college diploma from a bricks-and-mortar college will testify to class attendance. The diploma from an online university will testify to possession of a computer, internet access, and a checkbook.

    MOOCs will only succeed if employers find their graduates can write, speak, and think. Time will tell, but I'm not convinced. Far more likely is a division of offerings into real education for the wealthy and those with the potential to be auto-didacts, and automated "check-the-box education" for everyone else.
    · Reply · Share
  • poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    I don't know. I see it as the same thing we have happening all over the place. We have this heavy duty concentration of power at the top and this kind of underground chipping away going on beneath the surface. So, we have this kind of slow/fast destabilization which takes place in these kinds of monolithic industries. And, make no mistake, at this point "education" is an industry like any other. I like the way the author compares the music and the print industries, as well as those of the past.

    I think the technological revolution is actually just beginning, in terms of societal remodeling. We see the effects in many areas, including the new phenomena of graduates moving to less populated cities and out of those centers which were once created by the industrial revolution. But, really, its interesting the way the experts at even HBS and MIT see it.

    I can't pretend to fully grasp the implications, for education, and everything else, but I think it's clear to all of us that our kids are not entering the same world we did as adults.
    edited August 2014
    · Reply · Share
  • saxsax 5272 replies156 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,428 Senior Member
    Periwinkle. No one cares if you went to class.

    Right now, my sons company is funding his on line MS from Georgia tech.it will be the same diploma that kids in class receive. He watches the class. Does the homework, communicates with the prof via email and takes tests at a proctoring site. He can be out of town or out of the country and still go to class and do homework.

    Kids worldwide can watch classes at MIT through their open courses. They can learn everything in a compressed time in their bedrooms if they wanted to.

    Look at the way businesses are being run now. On line conference calls with people all over the world. You do not have to be in the same room. Different countries offering different pieces of the pie you are putting together with whatever widgets you need. How about 3 D printing...where's that taking us?

    Our little kids are playing on line games with kids in numerous countries at once and talking with them on headsets. They are doing projects where all their work is held in the cloud for others to add to.

    Why would these worldly kids want to be held down to a classroom with 20 kids in it?

    Technology continues to blow us all away. What they learn in college may be quickly outdated. Hey, I'm closing in on 60 and I still need to keep learning new things. I'm still working on knowing everything in Excel. I can learn it on line and keep up with the latest stuff.

    Our kids will all be part of small consulting groups that can offer specific skills for a company that only needs them for a certain amount of time.

    It would be fun to put together a group of basic skills workers will need in the future. It is so exciting.
    · Reply · Share
  • 2018RiceParent2018RiceParent 423 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 426 Member
    > 4 yr degrees will become outdated in just a few years

    Clearly coursera and online courses will have an effect on undergraduate education (has already started) and may even lower prices, but I don't think that changes the general concept of the value (to the student and to the industry of) going through a **rigorous** certified program (although these may get more specialized and more rigorous). Think of a more difficult ABET http://www.abet.org/accreditation/ for engineers and similarly more specialized for Nurses, MedTechs etc.

    Note that the fastest growing segment of jobs recently has been those requiring graduate (!) degrees - the need for objective rigorous acquisition of skills (ideally provided in partnerships with Universities) has not lessened but online courses will help raise the bar (at least for some introductory courses) and already have.
    · Reply · Share
This discussion has been closed.

Recent Activity