There needs to be an urgent rethink on traditional university centric education in countries around the globe to make them more affordable, accessible and useful for students. With more efficient planning, university courses could be completed within 18 months or two years, massively reducing debt for students and increasing productivity. With knowledge and computing capacities nearly doubling and tripling every 1000 days, the length of time it takes to complete a degree is far too long to be practical for the modern world. Over the year I have come to know some very exceptional people who have taken nearly seven year to complete their courses. This has resulted in them accumulate huge debts that often destroy their credit ratings and would take years if not a decade to repair or pay off their student loans.
Some would argue that for many would be entrepreneurs it is simply unnecessary that they spend three or four years going to a few lectures a week and gaining no practical experience in the process. They claim that for those who want to build exceptional businesses would be far better served getting out into the workplace, developing skills and learning from mistakes. Richard Branson believes that when governments and corporations provide the funding for people with smart business plans the many would-be students would be far more productive with the use of time and investment than getting into large amounts of debt attending a course with no real life benefits.
But of course I believe that university has a role to play in modern society. It is a place where academics can argue about the best and brightest of ideas and scientists come up with the latest and greatest inventions to transform the world we live in. Not to forget that for many people it is essential for their careers in a specialist area, such as medicine, engineering and law. Imagine being consulted by an untrained doctor, lawyer or an accountant.
As a student who went back to school after a long career in business, I found that the university is also an excellent place of regrouping, learning from other mature students and be equipped with newer tools and strategies to wanting to expand their horizons. Plus, the social benefits of university shouldn’t be understated.