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Troglodytic Trouvère
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While we're on this tangent, the status that specific universities have in the Anglophone world (though France can match you as well) always strikes me as odd. Here the elites might care about membership of some student organization (Fraternity/Sorority split isn't typical here), but even among their lot I've never head specific universities elevated above all others. Perhaps it's because our study programmes are spread across the country? Or perhaps I'm too much of a rural bumpkin to know what "Het Gooi" and other such haughty Hollander hubs think about the matter.
 
While we're on this tangent, the status that specific universities have in the Anglophone world (though France can match you as well) always strikes me as odd. Here the elites might care about membership of some student organization (Fraternity/Sorority split isn't typical here), but even among their lot I've never head specific universities elevated above all others. Perhaps it's because our study programmes are spread across the country? Or perhaps I'm too much of a rural bumpkin to know what "Het Gooi" and other such haughty Hollander hubs think about the matter.
I think connections, like the cold cash they yield, are hoarded by those who have them, with a desire to deny them to others. Universities therefore become places to gain access to the hoard if the self declared elite gravitate to the same universities. Why that should be a feature of the anglosphere more than any other educational culture I'm not sure.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
While we're on this tangent, the status that specific universities have in the Anglophone world (though France can match you as well) always strikes me as odd. Here the elites might care about membership of some student organization (Fraternity/Sorority split isn't typical here), but even among their lot I've never head specific universities elevated above all others. Perhaps it's because our study programmes are spread across the country? Or perhaps I'm too much of a rural bumpkin to know what "Het Gooi" and other such haughty Hollander hubs think about the matter.

It's about the money. In the US, universities hold big fundraisers where they ask their alumni for cash. That cash goes into an endowment, which they invest on the stock market. So big old successful universities who turn out rich and successful alumni have these absolutely massive endowments in the billions or tens of billions of dollars, and they use the interest from that cash to build up their university even beyond the expensive tuitions people pay. So a top school in the US has the money and really can provide services that another school simply can't. They can afford to hire Nobel prize winners on staff, or organize international trips, or give big student groups enough funds to cater dinner once a week. They have beautiful modern facilities, and secondary campuses all over the world. That's not even to mention the work that goes into developing world-leading curriculum because the standard textbooks really aren't good enough, or funding research that PHD students have opportunities to get involved with first hand. The list goes on and on.
 
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It's about the money. In the US, universities hold big fundraisers where they ask their alumni for cash. That cash goes into an endowment, which they invest on the stock market. So big old successful universities who turn out rich and successful alumni have these absolutely massive endowments in the billions or tens of billions of dollars, and they use the interest from that cash to build up their university even beyond the expensive tuitions people pay. So a top school in the US has the money and really can provide services that another school simply can't. They can afford to hire Nobel prize winners on staff, or organize international trips, or give big student groups enough funds to cater dinner once a week. They have beautiful modern facilities, and secondary campuses all over the world. That's not even to mention the work that goes into developing world-leading curriculum because the standard textbooks really aren't good enough, or funding research that PHD students have opportunities to get involved with first hand. The list goes on and on.
I don’t know how we got here. The Ivy League is way, way different to UK higher education system. That truly is all about money.
 
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Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
It's about the money. In the US, universities hold big fundraisers where they ask their alumni for cash. That cash goes into an endowment, which they invest on the stock market. So big old successful universities who turn out rich and successful alumni have these absolutely massive endowments in the billions or tens of billions of dollars, and they use the interest from that cash to build up their university even beyond the expensive tuitions people pay. So a top school in the US has the money and really can provide services that another school simply can't. They can afford to hire Nobel prize winners on staff, or organize international trips, or give big student groups enough funds to cater dinner once a week. They have beautiful modern facilities, and secondary campuses all over the world. That's not even to mention the work that goes into developing world-leading curriculum because the standard textbooks really aren't good enough, or funding research that PHD students have opportunities to get involved with first hand. The list goes on and on.
Good explanation. The power that these institutions have overseas (and across the channel) is hard to fathom. In lieu of investing into universities our elites must contend themselves with the aforementioned student organisation, explaining the difference.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
It's about the money. In the US, universities hold big fundraisers where they ask their alumni for cash. That cash goes into an endowment, which they invest on the stock market. So big old successful universities who turn out rich and successful alumni have these absolutely massive endowments in the billions or tens of billions of dollars, and they use the interest from that cash to build up their university even beyond the expensive tuitions people pay. So a top school in the US has the money and really can provide services that another school simply can't. They can afford to hire Nobel prize winners on staff, or organize international trips, or give big student groups enough funds to cater dinner once a week. They have beautiful modern facilities, and secondary campuses all over the world. That's not even to mention the work that goes into developing world-leading curriculum because the standard textbooks really aren't good enough, or funding research that PHD students have opportunities to get involved with first hand. The list goes on and on.

Colleges and universities are losing their esteem. While I do not expect them to disappear entirely, they are positioned to be far less relevant in the future.
 
Colleges and universities are losing their esteem. While I do not expect them to disappear entirely, they are positioned to be far less relevant in the future.
I would agree that I certainly place less importance on higher education, unless you need a degree to do a particular job, such as being a doctor or an engineer. They work on a general system of throwing everything at a particular job sector, and seeing just a few quality results at the end, and those are the people who did the degree and then got the job. The rest are the chaff unfortunately. What’s the alternative? You can’t earn enough to live at the moment on minimum wage alone, not in the western developed world at least. It’s also an avenue to better oneself, and that doesn’t lose its appeal just because it gets harder.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Colleges and universities are losing their esteem. While I do not expect them to disappear entirely, they are positioned to be far less relevant in the future.

Man, you need to get out of the bubble. The number of college students in the US could drop by half and those top elite influential universities will just continue to grow. There are literally hundreds of poor colleges that would close first, and their would-be students will just try harder to get into the top ones.
 
I would agree that I certainly place less importance on higher education, unless you need a degree to do a particular job, such as being a doctor or an engineer. They work on a general system of throwing everything at a particular job sector, and seeing just a few quality results at the end, and those are the people who did the degree and then got the job. The rest are the chaff unfortunately. What’s the alternative? You can’t earn enough to live at the moment on minimum wage alone, not in the western developed world at least. It’s also an avenue to better oneself, and that doesn’t lose its appeal just because it gets harder.
There’s also a huge difference between someone going to Oxford to read Latin, and someone going to their local college to study childcare. One is more needed in society than the other. You need smaller colleges that cater to vocational roles.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
Well, they may grow, specially if the other colleges start to disappear, but the value of them is dropping, and will continue to do so. They are not the well regarded bastions there were in the past, and they will be less so in the future. I will stand by it, and I'll wait and see what happens.

It may be that I am in a bubble, but it also may be you are as well.
 
The intake for higher education (degree level) has increased exponentially since the days where going to university was a big deal. With that increase, there is a more competitive job market, and so people are becoming disillusioned with the value of a degree in part due to this factor. You also have other general issues such as wage stagnation and increased cost of living. People want a nice life, and a good work / life balance, and if that’s not happening, something like getting a degree is going to be less appealing. But if you have a student who excels at a particular subject and wants to do that for a job, why shouldn’t they aspire?
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
It may be that I am in a bubble, but it also may be you are as well.

There are lots of negative words that would describe me, but in a bubble is definitely not one of them. I was in the young republicans at New York University, located in the heart of the ultra-liberal east village neighborhood in Manhattan, and both sides of that continue to be reflected in my news and social media feeds to this day. This morning I read my daily news emails - one the Morning from the New York Times, and the other a tech/business email called the Hustle - with Fox News on in the background. I hang out and go camping with marines (we live next to a MC base) as part of my son's scouting group - not Boy Scouts, but the Catholic group Troops of St. George, which is mostly guys for whom the Boy Scouts are too liberal (my son picked it because the dads take a more active role, and it's been an amazing group). I could go on, but I'd rather leave it there. But, today my politics are all over the place, and I've never stayed in a bubble.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Yeah, that's my fault, I apologize. I'll sit over there for a while.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
But if you have a student who excels at a particular subject and wants to do that for a job, why shouldn’t they aspire?

No body has said they shouldn't.

So....I guess the call is to return to topic, for which, I already answered.

I will just float around in my bubble. Maybe I will find some college students who dont have bubbles and bounce around, but then...
 
Well, they may grow, specially if the other colleges start to disappear, but the value of them is dropping, and will continue to do so. They are not the well regarded bastions there were in the past, and they will be less so in the future. I will stand by it, and I'll wait and see what happens.

It may be that I am in a bubble, but it also may be you are as well.
Do you think part of why they are dropping in esteem is because they have gone from being places of learning and discovery for their own sake, to places to segregate and perpetuate an elite? Like so many other institutions they have been tainted by the change in focus to money, power and privilege.

It doesn't help that the west is moving from democracy to idiocracy; a British government minister saying "we've had too much of experts", the view in the social media age that my opinion is better than your facts. If we forget how to value the learning in a lifetime's experience, working in a field, then how will we hold the institutions that hold and disseminate that learning in any esteem?

But maybe I'm straying dangerously close to politics here so, I'll say no more.
 
Do you think part of why they are dropping in esteem is because they have gone from being places of learning and discovery for their own sake, to places to segregate and perpetuate an elite? Like so many other institutions they have been tainted by the change in focus to money, power and privilege.

It doesn't help that the west is moving from democracy to idiocracy; a British government minister saying "we've had too much of experts", the view in the social media age that my opinion is better than your facts. If we forget how to value the learning in a lifetime's experience, working in a field, then how will we hold the institutions that hold and disseminate that learning in any esteem?

But maybe I'm straying dangerously close to politics here so, I'll say no more.
This is actually a really fascinating subject but maybe it needs its own dedicated thread?
 

Aldarion

Archmage
Epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, war fantasy, war sci-fi, historical fantasy, historical fiction, legend, myth, ghost story, urban fantasy...

But if I had to choose, I'd choose epic fantasy and historical fantasy.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
Do you think part of why they are dropping in esteem is because they have gone from being places of learning and discovery for their own sake, to places to segregate and perpetuate an elite? Like so many other institutions they have been tainted by the change in focus to money, power and privilege.

It doesn't help that the west is moving from democracy to idiocracy; a British government minister saying "we've had too much of experts", the view in the social media age that my opinion is better than your facts. If we forget how to value the learning in a lifetime's experience, working in a field, then how will we hold the institutions that hold and disseminate that learning in any esteem?

There's two things happening in the US here. The first, Millennials were over-sold on a college degree, which didn't work out in the long run for some people and had a spiraling effect on things, like jobs asking for a degree that don't need one with wages that don't justify one. As parents, Millennials aren't pushing college the way it was pushed on them, and college enrollment is expected to decline. The second, the leftist political forces at these colleges has reached a breaking point for many people on the right, which has turned many of them against college, which in turn has pushed colleges even more to the left as they have fewer and fewer right-wing students and staff. But none of that will, for example, hinder their role in research, which happens primarily at the universities which are most equipped to continue thriving, or hinder the role of lawyers, doctors and engineers in the country. It is likely to worsen the teacher shortage, though.


But maybe I'm straying dangerously close to politics here so, I'll say no more.

We are, so no more questions, I'll ask everyone to wrap up their thoughts quickly.
 
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