The End of the University as We Know It (Update: GeorgiaTech offers full Comp Sci grad program for $7k)

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    Dec 16, 2012 2:55 PM GMT
    http://the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352

    In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.
  • Import

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    Dec 16, 2012 3:18 PM GMT
    please icon_rolleyes.gif

    there is still a demand for traditional higher education among students and parents today. i dont think they're gonna disappear. I think many parents want their kids to live in a dorm, in a college, away from them to have that experience.

    University is as much about learning outside of the classroom as learning inside of it.

    Nobody takes degrees from online schools like Phoenix, Kaplan, ITT TECH seriously. . . they're a joke.
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    Dec 16, 2012 3:21 PM GMT
    Import saidplease icon_rolleyes.gif

    there is still a demand for traditional higher education among students and parents today. i dont think they're gonna disappear. I think many parents want their kids to live in a dorm, in a college, away from them to have that experience.

    University is as much about learning outside of the classroom as learning inside of it.

    Nobody takes degrees from online schools like Phoenix, Kaplan, ITT TECH seriously. . . they're a joke.


    That's why they referenced Harvard. There's going to be a trade off between cost and return as there always is. I suspect that living in a dorm, at a college will become more of a luxury experience or one for those who need the discipline of actually being at a college. The good thing is that there will be choice - and ultimately what will be the tipping point is how employers embrace these new models of learning - but the good news is that in many cases they are driving them
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    Dec 16, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    Import saidplease icon_rolleyes.gif

    there is still a demand for traditional higher education among students and parents today. i dont think they're gonna disappear. I think many parents want their kids to live in a dorm, in a college, away from them to have that experience.

    University is as much about learning outside of the classroom as learning inside of it.

    Nobody takes degrees from online schools like Phoenix, Kaplan, ITT TECH seriously. . . they're a joke.


    The first part of your post is correct, this second part about online learning being a joke - well, I'm sorry but you are mistaken. Online learning is growing. I obtained my degrees from a university that has both traditional campuses and online programs. My degree is accredited by the same regional accrediting body that accredits the college I teach for. It is just as valid.

    There are many people who are trying to further their education by working full-time and/or taking care of children. This has become a very viable option.

    The Chronicle of Higher Education has many articles that back up what the OP is saying. It may not happen in that timeline, but education is moving toward a more technology based delivery system.

    Many traditional universities are trying to jump on board and take back some of the business stolen by Phoenex, ITT, Kaplan, etc. So, you are seeing big universities shooting out 13 month bachelor's degrees in an online environment.

    In fact, the university I teach for has started a program like this. I have designed and am teaching some 7 week courses for a compressed 13 month Associate of Arts degree.
  • dannyboy1101

    Posts: 977

    Dec 16, 2012 5:45 PM GMT
    I took my first online class last summer and I hated it. I felt like I had ADD (which I still now question if I do have) bc there's all this typing coming at you while professor talks and expects you to talk and interact. Then there are message boxes when people enter or exit, buttons to click for emoticons or stupid applause or to raise your hand, and ta's posing questions while professor talks and asks his own questions. No thank you! Thank God I'm getting my schooling done now if that's the direction we are headed.

    However, you are wrong. Harvard would never take on that many students because the more students you accept, the more mediocre students you would accept. When that happens you lose your reputation and others can look better than you.

    I will say technology taking over university education is getting too big. Human interaction is so important and going online turns people into robots. One of my resolutions for 2013 is to move away from online communication and do more in life. I'd rather hit on a guy at a bar where I don't have to question how old the pics are or what our chemistry is or what his personality is like. Technology is taking over more than it should and giving us back sterile results.
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    Dec 16, 2012 7:29 PM GMT
    Certainly there is going to be a big shake-up in higher education, but it is too soon to say exactly how it is going to go. There is still no substitute for the total immersion of the four-year residential college degree. However, in various bids to make money, most of them have been so watered-down as to be meaningless. Most modern attendees do not need or want a bachelors degree - their needs can be met with just a few vocational classes and a keg of beer. Or they simply want to purchase the certificate and avoid learning anything at all, as much as possible.

    Junior colleges, community colleges, and little podunk bible skools that call themselves universities could and should disappear. They are mostly just distributing pre-canned classes that come complete with pre-written lectures and exams that are supplied by the text-book companies. The students are paying the full cost of this (plus hefty profit) in the price of the text books. The money going to tuition and fees is a completely irrelevant waste. This whole enterprise could be shifted to distance learning.
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    Dec 16, 2012 7:30 PM GMT
    Will this somehow lessen my crushing student debt?

    No?

    Oh icon_neutral.gif
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    Dec 16, 2012 7:34 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidCertainly there is going to be a big shake-up in higher education, but it is too soon to say exactly how it is going to go. There is still no substitute for the total immersion of the four-year residential college degree. However, in various bids to make money, most of them have been so watered-down as to be meaningless. Most modern attendees do not need or want a bachelors degree - their needs can be met with just a few vocational classes and a keg of beer. Or they simply want to purchase the certificate and avoid learning anything at all, as much as possible.

    Junior colleges, community colleges, and little podunk bible skools that call themselves universities could and should disappear. They are mostly just distributing pre-canned classes that come complete with pre-written lectures and exams that are supplied by the text-book companies. The students are paying the full cost of this (plus hefty profit) in the price of the text books. The money going to tuition and fees is a completely irrelevant waste. This whole enterprise could be shifted to distance learning.


    I teach for a community college. I am completely offended by your comments because I can assure you that my courses are not pre-canned in any way shape or form. In fact, many students find the rigor of our courses harder than when they attend the full university - because with smaller class sizes, we actually take the time to care about what our students learn. Unlike classrooms with 100 students or more. Yes, textbook prices are exorbitant, but I can assure you none of that money goes into our pockets.

    Plus, the community colleges have the wonderful task of bridging the gap where the high schools failed to prepare students for college. So, we have to do the remediation and trust me, the vast majority of students coming out of high schools today require some form of remediation be it English/Writing or Math. That isn't our fault.

    The entire education system needs an overhaul, but your comments are a big part of the problem. We work just as hard to do our job and do it as well as any other piece of the education system.

    That is all.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 16, 2012 7:47 PM GMT
    no. there is a severe lack of understanding of market principles as well as how the education system works here. one, colleges are in control of their products. the difference between opening a e-trade vs. stock brokers (and there are still many stock brokers) and that of online classes vs. traditional classes is that the former example is a mechanism to achieve a product while the class is the product itself of the university. if universities don't want to hand out degrees for online majors (there is a big difference between a few online courses and a whole degree), there's nothing in the market to circumvent it. and, considering the amount of money invested in infrastructure, that the university depends on people being on campus, and that students go to college for the fact of being there, it's ludicrous to believe online degrees with replace traditional ones. yes, online courses will become more prevalent, but they won't replace courses.

    and the reason for that is much of advanced education depends on more than lecture and small class sizes. sure, you can have a million people take an online course, but there is no way a million papers could be evaluated. further, labs and other types of courses that require hands-on activity and observation can't be met. you think entire science departments are just going to be replaced? that's assuming there's nothing in those buildings except desk.

    the online course cannot replicate a great deal of curricula, and it is not in the university's financial interest to do away with them. the bubble won't go away because students who hold college degrees still earn more than those without them. and like a high school degree, a devaluing of a credential doesn't make it obsolete: it makes the next one the more valued one. that is why master's degrees are the new bachelor's. then it will become the ph.d.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Dec 16, 2012 7:50 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidCertainly there is going to be a big shake-up in higher education, but it is too soon to say exactly how it is going to go. There is still no substitute for the total immersion of the four-year residential college degree. However, in various bids to make money, most of them have been so watered-down as to be meaningless. Most modern attendees do not need or want a bachelors degree - their needs can be met with just a few vocational classes and a keg of beer. Or they simply want to purchase the certificate and avoid learning anything at all, as much as possible.

    Junior colleges, community colleges, and little podunk bible skools that call themselves universities could and should disappear. They are mostly just distributing pre-canned classes that come complete with pre-written lectures and exams that are supplied by the text-book companies. The students are paying the full cost of this (plus hefty profit) in the price of the text books. The money going to tuition and fees is a completely irrelevant waste. This whole enterprise could be shifted to distance learning.


    and if you were in my freshmen writing class, i would fail you for making blanket generalizations with no evidence to support your claims.
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    Dec 16, 2012 7:51 PM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1352

    In fifty years, if not much sooner, half of the roughly 4,500 colleges and universities now operating in the United States will have ceased to exist. The technology driving this change is already at work, and nothing can stop it. The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone; the residential college campus will become largely obsolete; tens of thousands of professors will lose their jobs; the bachelor’s degree will become increasingly irrelevant; and ten years from now Harvard will enroll ten million students.


    This sounds exactly like the French system. And let me tell you that it SUCKS.
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    Dec 16, 2012 9:25 PM GMT

    Riddles,

    You know you're one of my favourite rjers. You also know that I share your sentiments that the free market has been an effective tool in liberating millions of people from poverty. However, the market isn't really 'free' and it can only do so much.

    That said, you're now on the bandwagon that the disembodiment of education, the redundancy of professors and end of the university experience represent good things?

    Online learning certainly has a place and works well with time poor or remote students. It is , however, a poor substitute for face to face interaction and hands on learning.

    The current trend to casualise academics and treat universities like cash cows should be lamented, not celebrated.

    The market is not the solution to everything and just like your comment that driverless cars will create more carpooling and a greater sense of community, ideas that th erosion of the university sector is beneficial are equally delusional.

    That said, I hope all is well for you in Toronto!
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    Dec 16, 2012 9:36 PM GMT
    Interesting piece, but IMOHO as long as universities are cash cows, there will be a drive to keep the money flowing into the pockets of the people at the top.
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    Dec 16, 2012 10:22 PM GMT
    The article said, "The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone.."

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Here's another one. When I worked for the bank, the first ATMs showed up and we were told to tell the public that it would all be free, forever. icon_biggrin.gif

    -Doug


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    Dec 16, 2012 10:33 PM GMT
    Just an FYI - What the article is talking about - in regards to free...

    http://www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative

    Harvard has a new pilot project called the Open Learning Initiative. It is a series of online courses that are offered by Harvard professors, guest lecturers, etc. who have recorded various lectures and have made them available online.

    The concept is that people in this generation have unprecedented access to information of all sorts and now one can customize his/her own education by utilizing these free lectures.

    This is sort of a revisit of the same mindset of Napster - if you think about it. Knowledge should be free to all, just like people said that music and the arts should be free to all. It is a concept that isn't likely to catch on in the current state of our economy. A downturn in an economy is good for schools because many who were having a hard time finding jobs - decided to go back to school to further their education.

    However, initiatives like this - are going to play a part in what education will become. We have greater access to information and resources than we've ever had before. Technology is going to play a major part in what education will become. Some of it good - for instance, expensive textbooks are being phased out in lieu of e-readers and e-books. There will be tradeoffs.
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    Dec 16, 2012 10:40 PM GMT
    This sort of thinking goes along the lines of "there is only one best methodology". But the simple fact is that pedagogical diversity will continue... some people learn far better in person, or need equipment, or need group activities that are less easily conducted over the existing online communications channels.

    What I hope that online learning does mean, however, is that more people will be able to go to school, and whenever they need it.
  • spacemagic

    Posts: 520

    Dec 16, 2012 10:43 PM GMT
    I'm gonna take my flying car to New Harvard and eat my breakfast pill on the way while my robotic house cleans itself. I can't wait for the future!
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    Dec 16, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    not_superman saidOnce I have my PhD I am just going to have youtube channel and offer people certificates if they watch all my videos. I'll make money through advertising and selling t-shirts with my face on them.


    Good, I still have to finish my PhD. I can be your first student.

    Can I get a discount? My student loans are already more than my house cost. icon_eek.gif
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    Dec 16, 2012 10:55 PM GMT
    not_superman saidOn the t-shirt with my face on it? I'll have to give out a bunch to start anyway, just for branding and what not.


    If it's your current profile pic, you can send me one now. I would wear it regardless of the degree...
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    Dec 16, 2012 10:58 PM GMT
    mindgarden saidCertainly there is going to be a big shake-up in higher education, but it is too soon to say exactly how it is going to go. There is still no substitute for the total immersion of the four-year residential college degree. However, in various bids to make money, most of them have been so watered-down as to be meaningless. Most modern attendees do not need or want a bachelors degree - their needs can be met with just a few vocational classes and a keg of beer. Or they simply want to purchase the certificate and avoid learning anything at all, as much as possible.

    Junior colleges, community colleges, and little podunk bible skools that call themselves universities could and should disappear. They are mostly just distributing pre-canned classes that come complete with pre-written lectures and exams that are supplied by the text-book companies. The students are paying the full cost of this (plus hefty profit) in the price of the text books. The money going to tuition and fees is a completely irrelevant waste. This whole enterprise could be shifted to distance learning.


    One of the dumbest statement made on this thread. Junior and Community colleges are great, offering afforadbale, transferrable college courses to students who do not have the opportunity to be sent away to a 4-year institution due family committments, lack of money, lack of resources available to them at high school, etc.....

    Million upon millions of students go the community college route. . 2 years at a CC---get that AA....transfer to a 4 year and get that Bachelor's...

    I was fortunate enough to go to a 4-year university and get the whole living on campus experience, etc, I know many ppl that went the community college and and thank god it existed. So many students dont prepare themselves for university in high school. Many universitites deny admissions to low-income, low test scoring students.....How are they to have a chance but not for a community college?

  • thadjock

    Posts: 2183

    Dec 16, 2012 11:03 PM GMT
    ConQuest said
    Can I get a discount? My student loans are already more than my house cost. icon_eek.gif


    so do you have any reasonable expectation of being able to repay the loans, with the job you'll secure using your degree?

    or are you banking on having your debt forgiven, because the government will be forced into a massive bailout of the student loan program to avoid another catastrophic default of the credit system?
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    Dec 16, 2012 11:08 PM GMT
    If enrollment to four-year colleges do decline, it's because some degrees are losing their value. For instance, I am in the communications field. In my opinion, those degrees could be better taught at two-year technical school than at a four-year university. Just my opinion.

    Online technology is great. I am finishing my master's degree online at the U of Memphis. They've had online graduate school courses since 1995 and they haven't seen a decline.

    In my honest opinion there needs to be a decline in university enrollment. College isn't for everyone. I know a lot of people that have went into debt just because all their buddies have gone to college. And they are still working in the low-end retail business...something they could have done without a degree.

    I am in debt, but it's worth it. I got my career field I wanted to be and can pay off my debt in about 10 years. But I was driven and determined I know what I wanted to do.
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    Dec 17, 2012 12:32 AM GMT
    meninlove said The article said, "The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone.."

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Here's another one. When I worked for the bank, the first ATMs showed up and we were told to tell the public that it would all be free, forever. icon_biggrin.gif

    -Doug




    Im pretty sure there are free universities in Germany, I don't know if it's laughably unimaginable that the same model could be approached in the US at some point in the distant future.
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    Dec 17, 2012 1:08 AM GMT
    karson said
    meninlove said The article said, "The future looks like this: Access to college-level education will be free for everyone.."

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

    Here's another one. When I worked for the bank, the first ATMs showed up and we were told to tell the public that it would all be free, forever. icon_biggrin.gif

    -Doug




    Im pretty sure there are free universities in Germany, I don't know if it's laughably unimaginable that the same model could be approached in the US at some point in the distant future.

    In Germany, you take an exam as a kid and it determines what level of school you can go to later. I've always kept my opinion of that little feature if the German educational system to myself.
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    Dec 17, 2012 1:09 AM GMT
    I thought this was going to be about Dec 21.