The Importance of university education in Developing Countries
University education is more than the next level in the learning process; it is a critical component of human development worldwide. It provides not only the high-level skills necessary for every labour market but also the training essential for teachers, doctors, nurses, civil servants, engineers, humanists, entrepreneurs, scientists, social scientists, and a myriad of other personnel. It is these trained individuals who develop the capacity and analytical skills that drive local economies, support civil society, teach children, lead effective governments, and make important decisions which affect entire societies.
An educated populace is vital in today’s world, with the convergent impacts of globalization, the increasing importance of knowledge as a main driver of growth, and the information and communication revolution. Knowledge accumulation and application have become major factors in economic development and are increasingly at the core of a country’s competitive advantage in the global economy. The combination of increased computing power, diminishing prices of hardware and software, improvement of wireless and satellite technologies, and reduced telecommunication costs has all but removed the space and time barriers to information access and exchange.
The recent World Bank study Globalization, Growth, and Poverty: Building an Inclusive World Economy, by David Dollar and Paul Collier, describes how 24 developing countries that integrated themselves more closely into the global economy experienced higher economic growth, a reduced incidence of poverty, a rise in the average wage, an increased share of trade in gross domestic product, and improved health outcomes. These countries simultaneously raised their rates of participation in higher education. Indeed, the countries that benefited most from integration with the world economy achieved the most marked increases in educational levels. In addition, there is growing evidence that university education, through its role in empowering domestic constituencies, building institutions, and nurturing favourable regulatory frameworks and governance structures, is vital to a country’s efforts to increase social capital and to promote social cohesion, which is proving to be an important determinant of economic growth and development.
Why is Higher Education Important?
Dr. Heather Allen, Contributing WriterThursday, December 08, 2005
Higher education. What is it? Why do you need it? What do the statistics show? How should you, as a homeschooler, begin approaching higher education? And, most importantly, what is God’s plan for your life?
What is it?
I often read articles, hear people speak, and wonder, am I the only one who doesn’t know what that term is that they are using? Usually my question pertains to a commonly used term that I should clearly know the definition of, but just don’t. Therefore, I’m going to start by defining higher education. Specifically, higher education is education provided by universities, colleges, and other institutions that award academic degrees. Higher education includes both the undergraduate (i.e., college) and the graduate (or postgraduate) levels. Higher education includes most professional education and is strongly vocationally or professionally oriented. Higher education differs from other forms of post-secondary (after high school) education such as vocational education. Vocational education is a form of secondary or postsecondary education but is considered non-academic as compared to higher education. The figure below is an attempt to visually show these levels of education and just where higher education fits in.
Levels of Education
Stages Approx. Age Level
4-10 yrs. Elementary School
Secondary 11-18 yrs. High School
Tertiary * 19-22 yrs. College
Quaternary * 23 yrs + Graduate School
* Higher Education
Why do you need it?
Given that we have a basic definition of higher education, why do you need it? According to many sources I’ve studied, higher education offers graduates more jobs to choose from than are open to those who don’t pursue education beyond high school, and graduates typically earn more than nongraduates. Specifically, the US Census Bureau reported in 2004 that, on average, a college graduate earns $54,704, significantly more than the $30,056 earned annually by someone with a high school diploma, or the $22,100 earned by a high school dropout. Another way of looking at these numbers is that, according to the Postsecondary Education Opportunity Research Letter (PEORL), the lifetime income of families headed by individuals with a bachelor’s degree will be about $1.6 million more than the incomes of families headed by those with a high school diploma. The PEORL goes on to state that every dollar spent on a college education produces $34.85 in increased lifetime income–not a bad return on an investment.
Nowadays, there are more and more students work part-time job in their free time. Actually, a part-time job can provide money and working experience to them. But it partly disturbs their study as well. So the high school students should not be encouraged to have a part-time job because of the following reasons. Firstly, most high school students are too young to work. Specifically, they still lack ...
Higher education improves an individual’s quality of life. Studies show that, compared to high school graduates, college graduates have longer life spans, better access to health care, better dietary and health practices, greater economic stability and security, more prestigious employment and greater job satisfaction, less dependency on government assistance, greater knowledge of government, greater community service and leadership, more volunteer work, more self-confidence, and less criminal activity and incarceration. In addition, college graduates supposedly have greater use of seatbelts, more continuing education, greater Internet access, greater attendance at live performances, greater participation in leisure and artistic activities, more book purchases, and higher voting rates. As an aside, I have to admit that I was amazed at some of these items–not that I found them, but that someone actually researched this stuff and thought some of the items were enviable.
Higher education, theoretically, will also enable individuals to expand their knowledge and skills, express their thoughts clearly in speech and in writing, grasp abstract concepts and theories, and increase their understanding of the world and their community.
In our current economy, the need for a college education has become increasingly valuable despite the high cost of tuition and loans. The demand for skilled, college-educated laborers is high. A college education can also determine a person’s future income potential and, in many cases, it is the only way a person can climb up the socioeconomic ladder. The idea that a college education is ...
According to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, “We must ensure that our whole population receives an education that will allow full and continuing participation in this dynamic period of American economic history.” What Mr. Greenspan is saying, basically, is that without a college education you may be left out. As time goes on, the relationship between a college education and success will become more and more significant in our information-driven global economy.
What do the statistics show?
Given the reasons for higher education, what do the statistics show? Focusing now on homeschoolers, I’m just going to attempt to hit the highlights of some of the data out there. I have to preface this discussion, though, with the caveat that we don’t know the true numbers of homeschoolers applying to and attending institutions of higher education, and much of the data out there is several years old. However, I believe that the general trends in the data provide a good feel for how homeschoolers are doing.
First, homeschoolers are more likely to attend college. A survey of more than 7,300 adults who were homeschooled, conducted by the National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI) showed that of homeschool graduates aged 18 to 24, 74% had taken college courses, compared with 46% among the general population in that same age group. Further, about 12% of those surveyed homeschoolers had received bachelor’s degrees, compared with 8% of the general population. And 50% of homeschoolers had some college but no degree, compared with 34% of the general population. Almost 9% of homeschoolers had two-year associate degrees, compared with 4% of the general population.
The results of the SAT and ACT, our nation’s major college-entrance tests, also credit those students who identified themselves as home schoolers with outperforming non-home schooled students. In 2002, home schooled SAT-takers averaged 1092 (out of a possible 1600), compared with 1020 for the national average of all SAT-takers, or 72 points higher. Similarly, in 2004, home schooled ACT-takers averaged a score of 22.6, compared with the national average of 20.9 for all ACT-takers.
... longer a problem for home schooled children. The idea of public education has been debated for years. Students are being faced with ... in public schools. Over 80 percent of public high school students drink alcohol and 45.7 percent have used marijuana. ... difficulty being accepted into colleges and universities. Boston University for example stated, "students educated at home possess the passion for ...
How does this translate into college admission? Well, just a few years ago, only a handful of colleges and universities were prepared to admit home schooled students. Today, home schoolers have been and are being admitted to more than a thousand colleges in at least five countries. Further, many of these students are being admitted with scholarships. Search on the web for colleges that admit home schoolers and you’ll be surprised at the lists that have been compiled to help you sort through the many possibilities.
How should you, as a home schooler, begin approaching higher education?
As a home schooler beginning to approach higher education, be sure to start early. Think about your interests and goals, and identify what level of education you’ll need to pursue those interests and goals. If higher education is required, read web sites, books, and periodicals to learn about colleges and universities. Find which schools will meet your specific needs and then find out about their policies concerning home schooled students. Start mapping out your strategies for how to best target the schools selected.
Second, keep organized, keep records, and determine the best format (e.g., transcript or portfolio) for those records. Keep this information complete and updated. Don’t rely on memory. Write down, with dates, anything and everything that you feel might be useful during the application process. Keep track of specific demonstrations of leadership qualities. Start compiling a list of individuals who might be appropriate for writing letters of recommendation.
Third, map out a timeline of what needs to be done when. Include specific courses that might be required and when they should be taken, what tests (e.g., PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT II) have to be taken, and application dates. You can also think about enrollment in community college classes, taking classes via distance learning, taking Advanced Placement (AP) tests and taking College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests. These are all things that should be planned into the timeline.
Fourth, look for avenues for funding, such as scholarships. Often money is available and goes untouched because of lack of awareness. Look for those opportunities to defray the costs of higher education.
The government shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels (Philippine Constitution, 1987) and has a responsibility to guarantee the people’s right to education (UDHR, 1948). Michail (2012) further described education as a basic human right that enable an individual to live his full potential as a human being. It is perceived by the masses as a stepping ...
And fifth but probably not last, consider college at home. There is the possibility, through distance learning programs, to continue your education from home at a significantly reduced cost. There are even ways to tackle lab courses and meet research requirements through distance learning. Don’t discount the possibility before researching.
All of these things are offered as catalysts to get you thinking and researching. There’s so much I’d love to write, but due to space constraints, I’ll have to leave it to you to do the research pertinent to your interests.
What is God’s plan for your life?
I think the most important question to ask, now that I’ve written this column on higher education, is, what is God’s plan for your life? Focus and prayer should be on this very question with the answer dictating the direction of education.
Often we hear people stressing that their children must go to college if they want to get a good job, make a good income, and support a family. Just as often, colleges or universities are pre-selected for those children because that particular institution is a parent’s alma mater. Then, a child is often sent to that institution without clear direction (i.e., a clear plan of a major and a goal at the end).
What a sad, but all too typical, story.
I heard Mike Farris speak at our Christian Association of Parent Educators (CAPE-NM) conference in New Mexico several years ago, and he spoke of this very problem. He basically said that after the purchase of a home, there is no greater expenditure of money than sending a child to a college or university. Further, this decision is often made with little thought or planning. We send the child to school, he or she goes for a few years, and then, all of a sudden, is on the spot to pick a major. Credits in various areas are tallied, and often the decision rests on what area has the most credits. He went on to say how foolish we are when it comes to higher education. We don’t plan. We don’t counsel our children in this area. We don’t pray. We treat this particular expenditure pretty cavalierly considering how much money and time is at risk.
Mr. Farris also went on to speak about young women attending college and how he has counselled his daughters. He has suggested to his daughters areas of study that could lead to a career that could be conducted from the home. For example, if a woman went into graphic design, in the event that income was needed due to the death of a spouse or job layoff, she could do that work from the home while still caring for the children. As I listened, I thought that that was excellent wisdom.
Abstract This essay will examine the proposition of the problems faced by first year students at any university. Firstly, it will consider different studying strategies compared to high school. Secondly, it will discuss the pressure on students especially on first year students to pass the coursework. Thirdly, homesick which diverts students attention from studies. Fourthly, the environment and ...
Much of the data out there, and much of what is reported above, focuses on the material rather than the spiritual. We must pray for guidance when it comes to any area of our lives, including higher education. We must also seek wisdom in counselling our children. As I was working on this column, I came across a website, Heart of Wisdom, at homeschoolinformation.com/FAQs/what_about_college.htm. A paragraph on that page caught my attention, and I thought it worthy of using as a closing to this column.
Before you place extreme importance on a college education, however, remember that a college degree is worthless if one does not know Christ. It is of little value for our children to master chemistry and algebra if they don’t know how to get along with their spouses or cannot learn how to discipline their children. It is of little value for one to be fluent in several foreign languages if he doesn’t have tongue control. It is of little value for one to diagram a sentence if one cannot communicate true feelings.
Heather Allen is The Old Schoolhouse’s Town Square chief contributing writer and Senior Analylical Consultant. She has a PhD in Experimental Psychology, served as an Aerospace Experimental Psychologist in the US Navy, and worked 11 years for Sandia National Laboratories. Shd and her husband Steve have homeschooled their three children for 8 years.
Copyright 2005. Used with permission. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. Right now, 19 free gifts when you subscribe. www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com
University Education Guarantees a Successful Professional Career
Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them,” and education is a tool which equips individuals with the power of knowledge coupled and the will to achieve success in the world. The primary reason why students opt for university education for the successful completion of the degree programs which are an important milestone in the academic achievements of students. The attainments of these programs enable students to establish themselves firmly on the path to an enterprising career.
University education is the ideal way to achieve success as the achievement of good grades and a sound degree ensures the route to a successful career in future life. Achievement in academics tends to be the sole motive of students the world over and the aims of academic achievement are by and large similar in most educational organizations. Educators stress on the importance of academic achievement in university education, stating that it is the most crucial way of establishing a student firmly on his path to a successful career. But, is that all? Is that the only aim of university education? No, it is not. There are a multitude of reasons why university education has gained such importance in today’s world.
Rational and logical thinking have always been associated with learned and educated people. Excellence in education opens the mind of students to think rationally about the issues surrounding life in any situation. As a result, a rational thinker tends display sensitivity towards the different perspectives on delicate issues. Education opens the mind of an individual to think about the issues surrounding life in any situation. A rational thinker tends display sensitivity towards the different perspectives on several issues and positive attitudes in life. Cultural sensitivity and the development of necessary skills can be attained by education. Education is indeed a powerful tool in the hands of students and has immense value in today’s rapidly changing global world.
The aim of college or university education is not to merely gain bookish knowledge; it develops and enhances the ability of an individual to think and perceive the various situations that life offers. The cognitive development and progress of the mental ability due to education will obviously have a positive impact on the culture and society in which I co-exist. Thus, education ensures the social development of not only the individual but also the culture and society with which am closely related, enabling graduated and educated students to work towards a better tomorrow, not only for themselves but also the society in which they function.
Educational institutions and educators can proudly claim to have achieved academic excellence when their students develop positive attitudes in life. The aim of academics is not to merely gain bookish knowledge; it develops and enhances the ability of an individual to think and perceive the various situations that life offers. The cognitive development and progress of the mental ability of the academician will obviously have a positive impact on the culture and society in which he/she survives. Thus, academic excellence ensures the social development of not only the individual but also the culture with which he/ she is closely related to.
The primary drivers of academic achievement are the educators and the educational institutions. The role and importance of responsible families and parents, however, cannot be undermined. Edmunds (1979) pointed on the role of the teachers and their expectations in setting high standards for student accomplishments. There has to be a greater emphasis on making the student aware of the importance of reading and writing at all stages of learning. Regular feedback regarding the progress of the student, not only to the students but also the parents, is known to play an important factor in academic excellence.
In order that individuals and students develop academically cultured values and perspectives, the ‘climate’ and atmosphere of the institutes in which they study has to be conducive. Maintenance of order and discipline by the authorities enables students to develop a sense of responsibility and value for ethics and morals in their educational as well as their societal life.
The effectiveness of schools and universities in the processes of learning and excellence in academics has been the focus of study and research of numerous academic scholars (Purkey & Smith, 1983).
Cohen (2006) elucidates that the subjective experience, which a student/academician acquires, plays an important role in academic progress. Besides the teaching patterns, there are other dimensions which enable successful academic achievement among students.
The list includes the dimensions of school environment, educational structure of the, methods of teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships between students and tutors, effective boosting of morale and motivation, (not only among the academicians but also the educators) and last but not the least, the partnerships between the university and the students, by way of communication and mutual support to encourage excellence in academics.
A responsive climate, which involves students and teachers in the process of education, has a positive effect in the educational as well as the social development of the student. Positive feedbacks regarding progress of students, from teachers have been known to benefit the child in more ways than one. Not only do they provide the necessary encouragement and motivation, but they also go a long way in building a positive and self-confident personality.
Thus, we can conclude that academic achievement aims to nurture students and aid their professional, societal and personal growth which would be beneficial to the entire community. Education is crucial in today’s life to building a positive and self-confident personality to walk that extra mile. Educational and academic achievement has the power to nurture individuals and aid their professional, societal and personal growth which in turn would be beneficial to the entire community.
Anthony Robbins has said, “It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.” University education grants students the ability and the capability to build and work towards a better tomorrow, an honest tomorrow, a clean tomorrow. It enables them to take the road less travelled and make a difference to the community.
Cohen, J., 2006. Social, emotional, ethical and academic education: Creating a climate for learning, participation in democracy and well-being. Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 76, No. 2.
Edmunds, R (1979).
Effective schools for the urban poor. Educational Leadership, 37.
Purkey, S., and Smith, M., 1983. Effective schools: a review. The Elementary School Journal, 83(4), 427-452.
Importance Of University
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Rightly stated by Albert Einstein, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”, university education is something that remains embedded within us till our last breath. Not only does it make us earn a living, but it also helps us live a better life. University is entirely different from school, the major difference being that we enroll ourselves in a particular university because we ‘want to’ and not because we ‘have to’. Likewise, attending university is completely our choice, unlike school which is mandatory. This counts for the various benefits that we get from receiving the university education. However, not all are capable of attending university simply because of financial and other problems. Nonetheless, this too does not pose as a major problem and turns in favor of university as one can take up higher studies any time of the life, as and when desired. There are no age barriers or restrictions for getting enrolled in a university. Go through the following lines to discover the importance of university education.
Benefits Of University Education
Better Career Opportunities
With a better qualification degree in hand, one increases one’s chances of getting better earning opportunities in the form of a broader range of work jobs. Hence, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that a university degree earns one a rewarding career. These days, most organizations and employers target university schools in their recruitment campaigns. Thus, a graduate who has attended a university is definitely better off as opposed to a student who did not go to a university. Furthermore, a higher qualification indicates the level of skills and qualities embedded into a university student.
Enrolling yourself into a university allows you to choose your preferred choice of line or career. With a whole range of courses varying from popular academic subject, such as English, History, Economics, etc. to the lesser-known ones, like Philosophy, Criminology, etc., a university offers a plethora of subjects to opt from. What’s more? You can even choose your career-specific course, such as medicine, engineering, journalism, etc. that are otherwise not offered by a college. By choosing the subjects of your choice or those that fascinate you, you can progress better in life, with a higher job satisfaction.
Enhances Career Advancements
Apart from selecting your choice of career, a university provides enhancement of career advancements as well. A higher qualification degree is essential to get a good job. Also, it helps in fighting unemployment in bad times. As such, employers support their employees in pursuing higher education to acquire the necessary skills and qualities to improve work efficiency. This support can be given in the form of flexible work timings or financing course costs. Studies indicate that higher qualification not only reflects career progress in the form of climbing the ladder, but also makes back accounts heavier and fatter.
Age, No Limit
While schools have an age bar restricting the registration of students, universities largely differ from them. Though most students enter universities immediately after their school, about 60 percent of university students are above 21 years of age. This is simply because these students return to study after a long break from their school, in the act of pursuing their ambitions. Reasons could be many, but universities welcome students to pursue their studies at any time of your life.
Enhances Personal Growth
A university exposes students to a rich cultural and social environment. This gives every student a chance to interact with people coming from varying geographical, social and financial backgrounds. In the act of meeting new people, you learn new things and new ways of learning things. Also, a university helps you to learn the tricks and skills of learning essay writing, research, group discussion, and so on. Most importantly, a university matures a person to live and interact with others in a social milieu.
Education is very important for our lives. Without education people wouldn’t have their high-developed machine and would believe that the Earth is a planet around that all another planets are moving. Why people want to have their high education? As for me I have my reasons why I want to get high education. First reason I want to get high education is for career purpose. From the early age parents very often tell to their children that education is very important to find a good job. And this is true because if you want to be a doctor or a lower, or an engineer you must have an education. Among my friends in Russia when I was asking them why they wanted to get their high education very often they were telling me that it is necessary to get a good job and to make a good career. I agree with them because I think that it is easier to begin my career not from nothing, but with the experience and all education that I would gain in the University. Another reason why I want to get high education is because all members in my family have already received their high education. My father has finished the Institute of Technology, and my mother has finished Medical Institute. All my life I was listening from them that it is very important to get high education. When I was trying to pass my exams for the University in Russia my family was very nervous. It looked like that it wasn’t me who wanted to get to the university, but the whole family were trying with me to pass all exams. I think that family’s support in getting education is very important. At least it was so for me. Also I want to get my high education because I enjoy studying. All my life I thought that it is very important to be independent and I was trying to be independent since I was a child. I didn’t like to ask my parents to help me with my homework and I was sitting with my homework sometimes till late night but I did myself understand that all must be dependent from yourself and not from someone else. I loved to study and in a high school was an excellent student. All my life I have been though that I could almost everything if I would really want. When I needed to learn English to pass my exams to university and my family didn’t have enough money to pay for tutoring, I took books in the library and step-by-step began learning language. First I thought that it would be impossible to learn language by myself, but I did it and passed all exams to the university. I learned English not just because I needed it to pass exams in the university but also because I was enjoying study. High education is very important for me. I want to get my high education for career purpose and for my family. All of that reasons helped me to make right decision and hopefully I will graduate from the university.
Advantages and disadvantages of a university degree?
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Ucq-_7Ktpuk/Rou-p_IiC4I/AAAAAAAAAIw/GfSkPOqh71w/s200/graduates.jpgChoosing A British UniversityWhat qualifies me to offer an opinion here?Well, I hope you feel the following quick resume entitles me to a least an informed voice on the subject:1. I’ve done a variety of unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, from petrol station attendant, postman, factory operative – food industry, factory operative- light manufacturing, office clerk.2. I’ve done a variety of middle management jobs, from games design team coordinator, marketing executive, marketing manager, sales and marketing manager3. I’ve held main board positions and share holding directorships, and participated in a multi million pound management buyout as one of team of 5 people.4. I have a private consulting business5. I have a bachelors degree in International Relations and Modern History6. I have a master of business administration degree7. I have a post graduate qualification in adult learning and teaching8. I am presently under-taking doctoral research into managerial mind sets and individual and organisational strategy making9. I have undertaken rudimentary training in NLP & transactional analysis10. I am presently a full-time academic in a leading UK university, educating undergraduate and masters students, together with a variety of pastoral and subject group management roles.11. I design and build modules for undergraduate and post graduate degrees12. I design and build degree courses for bachelor and masters degrees13 I am involved in a wide range of knowledge transfer consultancy projects for large public and private organisations14. I have two sons neither of whom have any current interest in higher education, both are happy and succesful15. I have family and friends whose sons and daughters are presently undergraduates in a variety of UK universitiesWhen I left university I ended up in the gaming business, in a company that was dominated by Production, Electronic, Hardware and Software engineers. I vividly remembering being asked by one of the managers “So, tell me, what possible use is a degree in history in a business like this”Being young and naive I stumbled for an answer and was troubled for many years afterwards by the question. Today I would answer in a flash that “It helps prevent me from asking dumb-assed questions like that!”Many people who have not experienced any form of higher education operate from the assumption that it is a straight continuation of previous ‘taught’ experience, and this holds true for a significant number of new under-graduates who pop out of the ‘forced’ high school level system expecting ‘Sir’ or ‘Mam’ or ‘Miss’ to give them all of the answers. It is interesting to observe that culturally many Chinese and Middle Eastern undergraduate students who come to study in Western universities are presently very deferential to the ‘lecturer’ and take a while to feel comfortable with ‘questioning’ what they are introduced to. Like all students the graduate process of developing a self directed critical learning faculty comes as a challenge.A crucial advantage of university degree is that it is a ‘transformational’ process that changes the way a person undertakes learning (by becoming more self-directed), changes the way a person manages and manipulates information, and changes the adaptability of the individual in the face of problematic and ambiguous situations.Now, of course, the counterbalance to this is that ‘theoretical’ understanding has to be set against real world experience. Otherwise we have the disadvantage of obtaining a degree, which is the sometimes mistaken belief of its owner that they are extremely smart and infallible. In worse cases it can emerge as an un-justified patronising and arrogant attitude.It is interesting that people focus on the pros and cons of the degree qualification, seeing it as a ‘thing’, a piece of paper. Of course the certificate is an indicator of a standard and recognition of the effort and hard work. However a more helpful way of seeing it is if you think about the the pros and cons of going through the DEGREE PROCESS. The certificate itself is not going to get the job – you are, with your attitude, humility, diligence, enthusiasm, team working skills, problem solving skills, and self -management skills.Nowadays a first degree is becoming simply the ‘table stake’ to be in the game. The opportunity to be employed not the ‘right’ to a job. In the UK system this takes the learner from ‘level 4’ learning to ‘level 6’. Masters qualifications at ‘level 7’ are becoming differentiators, and no doubt Phds and DBA’s will in the future at ‘level 8’. The educational philosophy that underpins the transformation process can be checked out by looking at the work of Bloom and Perry and MezirowOne down side to advancing your higher education is the need to become more specialised, and that can often lead to becoming part of a very tiny minority. There is also the danger that you lose your common touch, i.e. the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively in approachable and understandable language, and to be concerned with matters that connect to the everyday. That’s not to argue for dumbing down, or not exploring the fine semantics of say, epistemological philosophy. Just to say do it with your eyes wide open and realise that your ‘subject’ might not rock anyone elses boat.Ultimately the process of a degree ought to be set in the context of your life overall. What role does it play in making your life happier and better? If you think its a passport (despite the stats) to a higher salary then think again. YOU earn the salary, roles and position not the piece of paper, albeit it helps with the ‘first cut’ For 3 years+ disadvantages are, deadline driven lifestyle, mentally challenging and demanding, and a continual exposure to the prospect of failure. Are you happy to put yourself in that space? If you do and you get through then that in itself is character building and worthy of merit.My eldest son has taken a different path, bright lad indeed, not an ‘academic’ atom in his body (at the moment) He’s just qualified as a junior electrician, he’s got no student loan debt, he is learning other trades too, he’s a great plasterer, kitchen fitter and OK plumber. Crucially he is happy!For me higher education has been well, shall we say…an education. I feel my world view is broader, I feel I can discuss issues without feeling lost even if they aren’t ‘my subject’ and I know it sounds corny, but as each new learning experience opens a door ( bit like The Matrix) you see hundreds of new doors beyond that one. This has taught me realise that the prospect of ‘knowing all the answers’ is a very remote prospect indeed, and to be very wary of people who claim they do.For me that’s what is really interesting is the question.. so what is it that causes a person to stop opening the doors? Think of the Managing Director who claims to ‘know’ his business, or the person who can’t see a way out of the situation they are in. Curiosity is perhaps one of the most genetically/ memetically important aspects of the human being.Generically I would suggest that having a degree indicates that you have developed a capacity to ask questions rather than regurgitate answers, you will also have at your disposal conceptual frameworks that can help you make sense of the world more readily than someone who doesn’t, you will also have the ability to marshall and move ideas and information around. None of these things are excluded from someone who doesn’t have a degree, its just that like my son he is a better and safer electrician than me because he is qualified. Would you claim to be a genetic engineer by looking at the mould in your fridge? , or perhaps claim some knowledge about quantum mechanics by looking at your savings balance :)Finally I would invite you think in terms of University AND Life rather than anything mutually exclusive. I would see a bachelors degree as the start of the journey not the end. I would do it because you’re interested and it feels right for you, not because you feel you ought, or you like wearing square hats and a cape, or you expect it to make you ‘special’in the eyes of anyone else but your mum and dad.And finally, if I was to offer what I feel (at this moment) is THE lesson to be gained from a university education it would be this:The capability of moving from The Simplistic, through the Complex, to the Simplified is a capability that underpins, creativeness, innovation, leadership, and facilitation of understanding. This process has to be experienced to be understood.RR – BA (Hons), MBA, pgce :)(see its what you thought about what I’ve written that matters and nothing to do with those letters after my name isn’t it!)