Friday, April 09, 2010

10% of all US Colleges to Fail Within 10 Years

Futurist Thomas Frey has had a lot to say about US education over the past year. Here is an interview with Frey, where he discusses the future of higher education.
GREENE: You predict that within the next ten years 10% of all colleges in the U.S. will fail. Why do you think this will happen?

FREY: Colleges see themselves operating in a closed system where their main form of competition comes from other colleges. However, the disruptive forces that will launch the next-generation learning revolution will necessarily happen outside existing colleges.

Once a college course is converted into a recorded form of online education it becomes a commodity. And, as a commodity, it can be reengineered with better graphics, better audio, improved styling, delivered through hand-held devices, and marketed more effectively to different demographic groups.

Corporations will quickly invent a faster, better, cheaper model for delivering college education.

Colleges are like slow moving whales about to get attacked by saltwater piranhas. While department heads in colleges are off studying the mating rituals of Komodo Dragons in Indonesia, corporate managers are working day and night, ruthlessly focused on opening new markets and uncovering new revenue streams. The pace and intensity of the work is radically different.

The attacks will first take on the appearance of partnerships for handling the IT infrastructure, and the distribution and marketing of courses, but will quickly deteriorate into the tail wagging the dog.

Those attacking colleges, albeit indirectly, will be companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and IBM. Many colleges already have working relationships with these companies.

Colleges have long enjoyed the government-sanctioned protections of accreditation and degree-granting ability. This too is about to come under attack. Companies are playing for major stakes, and very little is off-limits in corporate America.

What’s at stake is the possible development of a singular website capable of creating and distributing the vast majority of all courses in the world. It has the potential for becoming the largest and most influential website in the entire online universe.

In business terms, the online education arena has the potential to connect every living person on the face of the earth and become the largest and most profitable company in the world. That’s what’s at stake.

For colleges that get the lifeblood sucked out of them, victims of collateral damage, it’s not that the corporate world has set out to destroy them. Rather, as the intensity for gaining new market share heats up, the gloves come off, and the ensuing wake that follows will leave behind a tidal wave of destruction.

GREENE: So, in the long run, will this lead to a better educated society?

FREY: Students will have far more options to match up with the appropriate style and form of education that clicks with them. They will also have the option of taking the course they are most interested in at the time they are interested in taking it.

The needs of the student will stop evolving around the needs of the college, and [with] the cost of learning plummeting, most barriers will go away, making education far more accessible.

My thinking is that this will lead to a far more educated society, with people far more prepared to handle the demands of the future. _ImpactLab
More at Da Vinci Institute.

A great deal of college and university infrastructure is devoted to wasteful and counter-productive outlays: dormitories and cafeterias segregated by race, special studies departments devoted to indoctrination into left-victimist dogma, entire staff departments dedicated to granting special preferences to preferred groups by ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation etc etc. Universities must return to the core purpose: education and empowerment of individual students. At some point, indoctrination and special preferences became priorities over a good education. Instilling ideology grew more important to faculty and staff than the assisting of individual students in finding, pursuing, and magnifying their strengths and special interests.

Rather than for 10% of all colleges to fail, much better for every college to fail that is not willing to get back to the empowerment and education of individual students and assisting in their individual growth irregardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, philosophy, or political ideology.

Universities have been stewing in '60s garbage for too long. Either get over it, or go away.

1 comment:

Ronduck said...

Even without a digital revolution many private colleges will probably fail if we do enter a depression. During the Great Depression a government study concluded that 1,500 private colleges had failed by 1933. My source is page 8 of the PDF named Great Myths of the Great Depression.