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A Few Possible Models for Higher Education

Recent protests in Quebec over proposed tuition increases presents the tip of the iceberg when it comes to societal criticism of modern-day higher education.

Answering these calls for change, the National Post’s Barbara Kay wrote a column last week presenting a few innovative ideas that could bring higher education into the 21st century.

She suggests free tuition as a first possibility, but with that free tuition based on merit. Or, she suggests the free tuition could require military or community service in return, a tactic practiced in some Scandinavian countries. As an addendum to this, she suggests a stream system where lesser qualified students could go for vocational courses with diplomas in upgraded community colleges, making sure universities stay reserved for high-level students who are interested in the material on offer.

Secondly, she suggests the MOOC format to centralize teaching of basic material and allowing on-campus instruction to focus on deeper exploration of content.

Third, she suggests extended study combined with work experience; effectively creating more flexible learning options to increase accessibility to higher education to non-traditional students.

Finally, she suggests a greater emphasis on work-study programs to allow students to glean practical knowledge in concert with theoretical learning.