Alternatives to higher education and why they matter

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It is old news that our current education system has been declining for the past few decades. Coming from the perspective of a 22 year old, during my whole journey as a student I’ve missed a lot, especially:

  1. Being able to put all my knowledge into practice
  2. Exploring more of the subjects I’d most enjoy.

The fact is, none of my school programs were prepared to even make me realize that I needed more. I could only do so once I started engaging in extracurricular activities, such as AIESEC, and started acquiring important skills for myself.

So I did my research on formal education and how it should evolve. I noticed how it has been already changing for the past few years. There are some really innovative initiatives that are responsible for challenging the system as we know it and transforming it into a better one.

As for what’s new — technology is allowing us to get access to knowledge from anywhere, at a cheaper cost (sometimes no cost at all). The idea of having to stick to one campus for your entire degree seems to be small after realizing one can have the world as your campus instead.

Here are some of the universities and educational platforms that are setting the tone for a new way of education altogether:

  • Ubiquity University, providing graduation, MBA and specializing courses connected to a competency model and heavy mentorship programs.
  • University of the People, specialized in Business and Economics education programs and creating a global learning community.
  • Minerva, with a low cost full time global graduation program: 4 years, 6 cities, 5 countries.
  • Mindvalley U., proposing a one month intensive per year, teaching different life skills in their curriculum.
  • Coursera and edX, online platforms with free and paid MOOCs (massive online open courses) on the most diverse fields.

The great thing about these alternatives is that they are accessible to almost anyone and let’s you modify the best way to study for yourself. It is important for all of us to encourage such initiatives so the next generations, and even ours, won’t face the same issue, and the learning process will actually turn us into better professionals and individuals.

If you know about other initiatives disrupting the system, let us know by commenting on the blog. As for yourself, be conscious that learning is a lifelong process, and we should always seek for new ways of developing ourselves and the people around us.


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