The education bubble and a few ideas to address it

Glenn Reynolds has an essay based on his new book.  See today’s Wall Street JournalDegrees of Value: Making College Pay Off.  It’s the feature article in the Review section.

The full length book is at Amazon: The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself. I’ll be waiting for the Kindle edition, available next week.

Merely one tidbit from the article to illustrate the problem and one idea for transforming eduction to reduce the cost and retain the experience.

Here is a fairly serious indictment of the arrangement in place for the college experience:

four in 10 college graduates, according to a recent Gallup study, wind up in jobs that don’t require a college degree.

That raises the question whether almost half of grads didn’t need to set aside four years of work and spend all that money.

One of the critiques of distance education and MOOCs is losing the experience. Maybe the idea of ‘hoteling’ might take off. That’s idea of taking your online courses while renting a dorm room in a college campus somewhere:

Build a nice campus—or buy one, from a defunct traditional school—put in a lot of amenities, but don’t bother hiring faculty: Just bring in your courses online, with engineering from Georgia Tech, arts and literature from Yale, business from Stanford and so on. Hire some unemployed Ph.D.s as tutors … and offer an unbundled experience. It’s a business model that just might work, especially in geographic locations students favor. Grand Cayman is awfully nice this time of year.

Picture that: one year outside DC (for all the sightseeing), another in Maui (surfing dude!), one semester each in Paris, Rome, Hong Kong, and London. Cool!

Check out the article for an intro to the college bubble issue and some of the ideas floating around. Check out the book for the full explanation.

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