Michael Horn is an expert on education who predicts that 25% of US colleges will fail within the next 20 years. Personally I think the number will be closer to 50%, if you include mergers as a failure of individual institutions.
Part of the problem is the student loan debacle, with $1.5 trillion in college debt — much of it never to be repaid — which weighs heavily on the US economy. But at the heart of the coming mass death of colleges is the inescapable fact that universities have rejected their core purpose. Drifting intentionally into a corrupt swamp of purposeless power grabs, universities and colleges are signing their own death warrants.
In their zeal to promote progressive causes like ethnic diversity, faculty members and administrators have abandoned the very purpose of a university education.
According to Kronman, our colleges are built on an ancient foundation: the philosopher Socrates’ concept of learning through debate. That’s “the conversational ideal,” as Kronman calls it — the hallmark of college as “a community devoted to collaborative pursuit of the truth.”
Today’s liberal arts and humanities students and professors reject the idea of open debate. Closed minded indoctrination and brainwashing in “correct thought” have taken its place. Instead of teaching students how to think and learn for themselves, they are being turned into predictable and conformist reflectors of the platitudes du jour.
Alternatives to a 4 year college education can lead to better pay and a more satisfying experience, but most young people are not provided with the information they need to make informed decisions. The “college for everyone” dogma has taken over the zeitgeist to a highly dysfunctional degree.
The concept of “apprenticeships” is both old and poorly defined. The future will require new forms of apprenticeship that have not been imagined, but current generations of thinkers and policymakers do not seem up to the challenge.
We also have a false dichotomy between “working with one’s mind” and “working with one’s hands.” To be successful outside of white collar occupations such as law, accounting, banking etc. one must be able to work with hands and mind. The future of vocational training will lead to a wonderland of future skills and on-the-fly innovations that our dumbed-down high school career counselors will never comprehend. And so they shortchange at least 75% of the students they counsel.
The merging of information technology and vocational skills will define a new future for most workers — who really never belonged in a rigorous 4 year university training program to begin with. But we have stupidly forced square pegs into round holes, ending up with twice as many colleges and universities than we need while generating $trillions in wasted debt — and misleading millions of young people into failed, worthless, and unsatisfying career paths.
It is a disaster of our own making, even if we never intended it to be this way.
While This is Still an Opportunity Society
Training everyone to be an entrepreneur who has the aptitude, is another vast improvement we could make over the current system of academic lobotomy. Entrepreneurs create entire new fields and markets, generating jobs for those who want a more predictable life. Except there is no such thing as a predictable life anymore, but don’t tell them that unless you are prepared to unfold the vast spread of possible future lives for them. Eventually perhaps we can do that for most young people.
Thinking of the military as a skills and attitude building platform is another change we might make. In countries where national service is mandatory, such a thing is taken for granted. But in societies where everything is voluntary, we must be sure not to overlook all the possibilities when revealing the future possibilities to our young — who after all must build their own lives for the most part.
Military training can build many skills of self-knowledge, skills of a hands-on practical nature, and leadership skills. One does not need to make a career of the military for the military to contribute to one’s career.
It is not that easy to find one’s perfect niche — or niches. Going to college is just as likely to take a person farther away from self-discovery as to help him find what he is looking for.
There are many reasons why almost half of today’s colleges are doomed to fail. It is not just that Europeans and Anglosphereans are not having as many children as they used to. It is not just that college is unsuited for at least half of the kids who are shunted into them. It is not just that universities have become vast concentration camps for mindwashing and conformist indoctrination. And it is not that today’s colleges are overpriced generators of dysfunctional debt. Most colleges have simply outlived their usefulness and have been bypassed by the real world while administrators were locked in a vault counting their endowments and dreaming of a brave new political world of echo choir singers.
The real world is busy forming a future that has very little to do with the thoughts of today’s university administrators and brain dead activist professors. To be able to see that world one must forget the indoctrination he has received from his “education,” from the media, from politicians, and from virtually all other cultural institutions that have been so busy trying to limit the future to a mockingly limited parody of what it should be.
Pay attention. Hope for the best, prepare for anything. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.