Deaducation

Maybe uni isn’t for everyone. In the future maybe it won’t be for anyone. That isn’t a statement to say that UNI IS DEAD, LONG LIVE EDUCATION. But given the latest treatment of education in my country, it is becoming less and less feasible to study in a traditional way.

Our system is built on a model that most reading this will be familiar with. There’s pre-education, primary education, and high school. High school for many many years meant you could leave in year 10 after doing a school certificate. This suited people who were not going onto higher education, like those taking on trades, or jumping straight into working. Now it has shifted so that up to year 12 is compulsory. This suits the government in that when compared to other nations it seems everyone has generally been educated to this standard. However I can attest to the fact that in practical terms it is a poor choice. My younger brother left in year 10, one of the last who had that option, and years 11 and 12 would have meant little to him.

After that our education system has tertiary education in the form of TAFE and private equivalents that teach to the levels of certificates, diplomas and advanced diplomas but not often beyond. These courses meet needs to teach skills based (less academic) learning that do not require a degree or above, catering to industries that do not do apprenticeships like tourism, IT, small business mgmt …

The TAFE system seems to have been pretty successfully thrashed with large increases in fees recently, connections to government support that meant people would sign up to courses just to get money, and restructuring that seems to be taking away accessibility.

Like TAFE, university fees are being talked about, and money shifted around or taken away. I seem to have gone through university at the right time before this shift really takes hold. And after that studying a PhD will be covered by the government;

All new domestic postgraduate research candidates enrolling in a Doctorate ... are granted a tuition fee exemption under the Commonwealth Government's Research Training Scheme.

For many though, plan B involves emerging platforms. I go on and on about Skillshare, and there’s also Lynda, but there is also Open Universities which is connecting education to people online.

The future is in investment in new systems it seems. Just as the Kindle’s emergence hasn’t caused book burning parties, we cannot simply destroy the old education systems though. There will still be room for the person who needs to learn to cook in a commercial kitchen, as well as the innovator.

You have do is what’s right for you in the end. There are arguments that social learning only results in homogeny and imitation. That is right and wrong in my opinion, but that comes down to individuals. Just as people need to push their own education to evolve, pushing into new territories, education needs to push as well.