tumblr

Screwed up incentives in higher education

Good essay here on the state of higher education.

It would actually be cheaper to hire a private tutor at $50/hr for every single student for 4 years, than university tuition. That’s insane, but let’s accept that for a moment. Now, what do students actually get for their money? They get herded in like cattle into 500 person classrooms to have someone read the textbook to them with the help of a powerpoint slide deck. The classroom environment hasn’t changed in nearly a century. If you brought someone from 1940 into today’s classroom they’d hardly notice a difference, except perhaps for the fancier projector and massively increased class size.

The problem with incentives in higher education has been stated before, but it’s worth mentioning again.

Part of the solution to this problem would have to come from decoupling of research and undergraduate education. It doesn’t take a great mathematician to teach calculus 1, or a great researcher to teach psych101. It takes a great teacher. There are many phenomenal teachers at universities. We at Top Hat Monocle have had the privilege to work with some of them. They should be treated like rock stars and paid accordingly - they generate literally millions in revenue for the universities and don’t get nearly the recognition they deserve. They do their work out of benevolence and dedication to a job they love, mostly in spite of the system they operate in.

Ramkumar Shankareducation