The End of College Book Summary - The End of College Book explained in key points
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The End of College summary

Kevin Carey

Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere

4.3 (27 ratings)
18 mins

What is The End of College about?

The End of College (2015) is about the American higher education system. These blinks give a historical overview of how the author sees the development of the American university and its evolution from European models. He evaluates its current status and advocates for the University of Everywhere – a remotely accessible university of the future.

Table of Contents

    The End of College
    summarized in 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    The future of higher education is online, and it’s already here.

    Let’s face facts. The American higher education system isn’t fit for its purpose. It produces too many dropouts, lets degrees drag on and limits the scope of their subject matter.

    There are studies to back this up. It’s been shown that not even two-fifths of enrolled students meet the four-year deadline for graduating from college. What’s more, two-thirds of them still haven’t graduated after six years.

    The US census confirms this. According to the 2014 census, an incredible 35 million people over the age of 25 have dropped out of college.

    And what about the skills the students were meant to learn? Sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa conducted a survey of students from a diverse range of colleges in the United States. The study found that after two years of college, 45 percent of students had not advanced in fundamental disciplines. These included critical thinking, communication and analytical reasoning. Even after the full four years of college, 46 percent of the students had made no statistically significant progress.

    But there’s a solution. It’s what the author calls the University of Everywhere. It’s a new way to get educated. Free online courses will be available to everyone wherever or whenever they want them, 24/7.

    It’ll be much more egalitarian too. It’s not just a finishing school for the wealthy or for those burdened with big loans. There will simply be no debts because there are no overheads online.

    This isn’t some crazy vision of the future. The University of Everywhere is already here.

    The author himself attended an introductory series on biology by a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The class had been set up by edX, an online educational organization established by MIT and Harvard University.

    So if online courses are the future, what went wrong in the first place?

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    About the Author

    Kevin Carey directs the Education Policy Program at the nonprofit research organization New America. He has also taught education policy at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times and has written for publications such as Wired and Slate.

    Who should read The End of College?

    • Students of public policy and education policy
    • People curious about online learning
    • Historians interested in higher education

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