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Fewer schools. Problem or solution?

xiggixiggi 24569 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
Too many educators and too little learning? Has the ratio ever been this unbalanced, and especially if you segregate educators in groups of administrators, researchers, and actual teachers with extensive contacts with students.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21605899-staid-higher-education-business-about-experience-welcome-earthquake-digital?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/pe/thedigitaldegree

Why did the current model survived this long?
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Replies to: Fewer schools. Problem or solution?

  • xiggixiggi 24569 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    *survive
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12723 replies167 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,890 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    Elite schools will stay as they are, the bulk of their students can afford them and their wealth will ensure that the elites will be able to fund those who can't afford it. In other word, status quo. Public universities will become less country-blubbish, certainly the non-flagship campuses will probably become more modest in what they offer. The small, lesser-known privates will disappear. Ultimately, the model will come close to resembling higher ed Europe, with the notable exception of the few elites - the HYPS, etc. – which will only get bigger and richer.
    edited June 2014
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  • xiggixiggi 24569 replies872 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25,441 Senior Member
    Ultimately, even the elite schools will see the value of their expensive degrees challenged by the marketplace. Inasmuch as the names a la HYPS still mean a lot in the professional world, one cannot overlook the degrees held by the employers such Facebook, Google, Apple, and the countless new darlings. It might surprise some that students from lesser known schools are competitive in the tech world, as well as employees who never graduated.

    How long will people agree to pay 300,000 for college on top of a similar amount for K-12 if the job prospects are a hodgepodge of NGO, Teach for America, the Peace corps? Cynical? Perhaps, but while there will always be a market for the most prestigious degrees, something will have to give, and especially if the market for prestigious degrees becomes tied to ... graduate degrees.

    Public universities will indeed become less country-clubbish, but that expression encompasses MUCH more than the amenities provided to the students. It should also include the country club lifestyles of the academic divas and high administrators. A world where cost per provided teaching hour would be a nice ... change!

    The sad reality is that schools have developed into organizations that most people no longer can afford. and also in a model that society no longer needs? It is a cocoon world where people spend time researching subjects for the purpose of gaining lifetime employment and continue to write "stuff" only their peers are interested in reading! As it happens in the many industries and public service, we slowly come to the realization that we cannot afford to pay decades of organized indulgences and especially not meet the cost of the massive retirement expenses.

    Amd we surely cannot expect that the solution will come from eternal growth. The massive number of babyboomers will not be supported by equal numbers in the future generations, and especially not when future job prospecrs have never been bleaker with hordes of unemployed and armies of underemployed.

    In the end, the explosion of 24/7 information available for a few cents a day is a direct and frontal attack on the old education world. Many are deriding MOOCs and other attemps to change the current delivery of education. The critics have a pojnt that the new world is NOT better -- after all, how could it be? The real issue is if the education can equal or even slightly inferior, but a small fraction of the cost!

    Fwiw, I really doubt that the US will evolve into an European model, and surely not the one that exists in Europe currently. On the other hand, one might safely assume that the Europeans might leapfrog our schools in a world measured by efficiency and ... austerity. Without having to invest in the "country clubs" and having to provide 24/7 entertainment and housing to its students, the ROW might actually invest in technology and ... borrow our best minds and make them perform.
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12723 replies167 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,890 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    I think social stratification will lead to more people being able to afford elite schools. The rich just keep getting richer, and I have no worries about the future of HYPS, etc. Those schools will be just fine, thank you, as long as masses of kids that graduate from said schools can find jobs. Since elites tend to support one another, I also have no worries about the future of HYPS, etc. graduates.

    By resembling the European model, I mean that the schools ordinary (read middle class) kids will be going to will be poorer. Those kids don't have access to academic divas now, they certainly won't in the future. Anyone at all remotely close to the academic diva category will be working either at schools willing to pay well (NOT publics) or making the big bucks in China! Schools will still cost plenty -- and still a hell of a lot more than European schools do.
    edited June 2014
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12656 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,685 Senior Member
    edited June 2014
    People tend to extrapolate from the near past in to the future, but if you look at US history, inequality rises and falls (and the peaks tend to be more violent). Yes, there will always be schools that charge high prices, but they will be considered a luxury good. Higher ed in 2030 will look radically different for most people.

    Read up on Peter Turchin.

    BTW, a lot of kids do have access to "academic divas" now. A lot of our top researchers are in our top research universities, and many of those are public.
    edited June 2014
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  • katliamomkatliamom 12723 replies167 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,890 Senior Member
    If they have access to them, they're not divas :)
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Why did the current model survived this long?

    Because w/o independent 3rd party accreditation bodies that can grant degrees, consumers are hostages to colleges to get a degree.


    Did u also read the article about Brazil in that same issue of the Economist?
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  • furrydogfurrydog 224 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 226 Junior Member
    >>>Ultimately, even the elite schools will see the value of their expensive degrees challenged by the marketplace.

    @xiggi Alas, I must say I agree with @katliamom. I do not see this happening anytime soon. There are literally many hundred of thousands of kids from well-to-do-family all over the world looking to gain acceptance into these elite schools. I believe the demand way outstrip the supply. I really do not think the marketplace model works very well when it comes to these "luxury" goods. My $40 Jensen backpack works as well (or better) as those Hermes bags but apparently, there is no shortage of people wanting Hermes bags. Same go for my $10 Timex piece compared to a Patek Philippe.
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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14270 replies297 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,567 Senior Member
    Ultimately, even the elite schools will see the value of their expensive degrees challenged by the marketplace[/quotes]

    Mercedes & Toyotas drive just fine, but there will always be a market for Bentleys.
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  • PurpleTitanPurpleTitan 12656 replies29 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,685 Senior Member
    Y'all should take a look at this thread:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/comment/17405458/

    I expound more there.

    There will always be a market for luxury goods, but cycles of ever-increasing inequality and ever more fierce intra-elite competition (which is what are driving the rate of increase in elite private tuition and ever decreasing admit rates) do not--can not go on forever.
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