I’m an optimist about higher education
A rough few years for colleges’ business model is going to make things better than ever
Sam Altman from OpenAI recently did a thread about how “US college education is nearer to collapsing than it appears.”
I have no idea how close to collapsing people think American higher education is, so it’s difficult for me to offer a clear view on that. But I think the whole thread is emblematic of a tendency among successful technology executives to understate the resilience of the elite aspects of American college education — the sort of schools that they dropped out of, in other words.
Altman dropped out of Stanford. Patrick Collison dropped out of MIT. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard. I’m very bullish on all those places. But by definition, most of American higher education is not elite. Even though those schools and others like them occupy a huge share of the discourse, they constitute a very small part of the overall system.
I do think it’s true that the larger, less elite parts of the system are going to go through a rough time over the next few years — fundamentally …
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