Published on 2012/01/31
The Revolution Is Required
Our concepts for higher education are over a century old and need to be changed. Photo by Snapshots Of The Past

The biggest issue in higher education is simple:

Our universities & colleges are based upon concepts that are hundreds of years old; and are not matched to today’s world. Educators (with a few exceptions) are as a result too preoccupied with less important issues such as politics, funding and recognition, which leaves too little of their attention to be focused upon helping people learn.

Western society has propagated a public perception that you need qualifications to be successful. Developing countries have adopted the same preconception without question; just assuming “if a developed country thinks this way, we should too”.

Research would question this thought, though. The world today is very different to the world of the past.

Success depends upon capability; and capability comes from what you learn, rather than the qualifications you hold. Learning comes from many things; higher education is but one of these things. Higher education has the potential to be the most important contributor to learning; but only if educators are working in a system that puts learning above all else; and makes it secondary to politics, finance, culture, recognition, assessing students, auditing colleges, achieving qualifications etc.

The established system of vocational colleges and universities probably has too much history and inertia to allow it to change in the way it needs to.

For this reason, I believe a revolution is probably needed in education; akin to what happened to secondary industry in the industrial revolution.

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