Future Trends: Education
This is a selection from Humanly, Issue 02, which focuses on Generation Z and teen culture.
Given ballooning student loan debt and a corresponding drop in college enrollment, some futurists estimate that over half of all colleges will collapse by 2030.
Issue 02 • 2016 Get Issue 02
But somewhere between the ivory towers of established institutions and iTunes U’s complete digital interface lies the promise of a higher-ed model that’s stripped down, nimble, and actually sustainable. The Minerva Project, a Bay Area start-up college, is perhaps the best example we have today. By cutting the fat of decked-out dorms, five-star dining halls, massive sports stadiums, and lecture halls—in fact, any facilities other than leased residence halls with shared kitchens—Minerva has gotten its tuition costs down to $10,000 per year, even as it’s as hyper-selective as the Ivies. This unraveling of bloated campus life is made possible by a proprietary online platform that facilitates highly interactive, intimate small classes: Professors—who are untenured and can be based anywhere—video-chat with small groups of students, who “attend” class from anyplace with an Internet connection, including libraries, museums, and parks. Geographic freedom is vital to Minerva’s elite positioning; each year, students move between Minerva’s seven outposts (San Francisco, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Seoul, Bangalore, Istanbul, and London) so they get the kind of international experience that other universities advertise but can rarely deliver—so the college’s physical makeunder actually produces an outsized experience.
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