The interconnectivity that the information age has given us means that the advancement of knowledge has increased exponentially, and the way we educate new generations needs to catch up. Requiring a degree as proof of one’s education level may seem necessary to some, but the only relevant bit is the proof itself.
OpenCourseWare (OCW) has democratized the process some but is often still tied to the university business model, as much of the content of OCW is created and maintained by university staff. The sum of human knowledge is available at your fingertips, yet paywalls prevent many that might learn from doing so.
The idea that one must apply to a school enroll upon acceptance, and pay exorbitant fees for the mere chance of success should have no place in society now that information can be so freely exchanged. There are many ways that this system could be altered to give everyone an equal chance of finding their place in the world, and the time to figure out what exactly they want to do, without being saddled with lifelong debt.
Rather than teaching the same material in buildings around the world, with slight updates as the years progress, teachers could create online courses that would stand the test of time. The classes could be updated when needed, incurring a minimal cost if one teacher was chosen to teach all those who speak a specific language.Subtitles could give that same teacher international reach, eliminating the need for brick and mortar schools almost entirely.
Those that desire a more conventional education would likely still have the option to pursue that method of instruction, as some businesses would remain to cater to those with that inclination. There are plenty of people who are experts in their fields that provide help online in various niche forums who would be delighted to share their experience with those that are eager to learn.
It would only be a matter of organizing and codifying everything into a proper curriculum, which could be financed by crowd funding. We live in a time unlike any other, where we could revolutionize education fundamentally.