The higher education industry is absolutely broken; we’ve known this for a few decades. There are so many different ways to teach young adults, yet few of them have been considered, much less adopted, over the past 40 years.

How do we fix this? Disruption through tech has failed — young adults entering the workforce post-pandemic will be the least equipped cohort to ever do so. The answer thus lies in Business Model disruption. Below are five proposals, any of which would shake the market to its core.

  1. Implement Performance-based pricing: collect a fixed percentage from students’ earnings, over a set amount of months, many years after graduation.

  2. Implement life-long subscriptions: for a nominal yearly fee, you get the right to go back to school for a few months to acquire new skills whenever you wish. 

  3. Meet students where they are: we need satellite schools all over the country to target underserved communities and stop the brain drain that has divided the political world into a rural/urban brawl.

  4. Ensure that many are called, but few are chosen: we should open the door wider. Increase the acceptance rate to great schools. But we should also make it much harder to stay in said schools. 

  5. Propose a porous, transfer up / transfer down system: If a student is not up to the required standards after a year, they get automatically demoted to a less rigorous university, leaving a space for a hard-working student who has earned a ticket up the ladder

None of the above can happen without two key factions. We need teachers to rebel against the hand that feeds them. They are the ones who can spearhead the change from the inside. We also need recruiters to realise that they can recruit from more institutions that just the top 10 colleges. One way to do this is for Apple, GE, Microsoft, Nike… to ensure through clear rules that their new hires come from different educational backgrounds.

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