Universities are required to be many things. They must be areas in which the future generations are taught. Areas that push forward progress in science, literature, mathematics and the multitude of other avenues of intellectual merit. But, they must also be flexible, able to adapt to the rising growth in those seeking to further their knowledge and education. As anyone who has been present within academia f is aware, such flexibility is not easily performed.
As this article outlines, the world education system serves as a trillion dollar industry, one growing by the year. While I do not feel qualified to speak on the implications for such an industry, I do feel it necessary to comment on how it serves those who seek to be a part of it, and what it must do to better accommodate them in the future. As it stands, Universities must be able to adapt to the present requirements of a world in which the sum total of memorized knowledge can be accessed from one’s front pocket. Katie Puckett, the author of the article, comments that certain aspects of education that have been seen as central in the past may fall by the wayside as we live in the digital age. While I don’t fully agree that the digital age invalidates topics such as grammar and foreign language education, she makes several salient points. I particularly agree that the system of decades past, of rows upon rows of students facing a lecturer, should be reexamined. I also agree that Universities should be expected to put a firmer emphasis on project based learning, the application of knowledge rather than its memorization. This to say nothing of the rapid rises in cost, all but ensuring that those who decide to pursue higher education will accrue a debt that will follow them for decades.
We live in quite possibly one of the most educated time periods in human history. As more and more of the current generation seek out a hand hold in higher education, is it the responsibility of the University to respond to them. My change would see Universities moving away from the standards by which the student was considered a number, an item on a factory belt, and adapting to the necessities of the digital age. A complete reevaluation of the classroom set up, consistent digital options for classes, and a proper explanation on how we can shatter to barrier to entry that cost has more and more become.