From our Swindon Correspondent:
No less significant is what the pandemic has done to teaching technology. Education must be the most conservative discipline on earth, rooted in “what was good enough for us is good enough for them”. Universities still live in a pre-digital world of three or four-year residential courses, leisurely holidays and medieval calendars and costumes. Parkinson’s Law reigns, with study expanding to fill the years allotted to its completion.
It’s not that education is conservative, slow to adapt. You can get apps to improve your driving theory score. Babble got onto the new possibilities of smartphones very quickly, launched in the late 2000s. If you went back to the late 90s, software training companies created courses on CD-ROM not many years after they started appearing. Lambda school has been teaching people computing for years with a mix of online and classroom.
It’s about the subsidy to degree education, and various other levels of government interference. Why is nearly all my training done with video based Pluralsight? Because it’s £25/month for an all-you-can-eat buffet of training. I can do 30-40 courses, if I had the time. Classroom training is more like £200-300/day (and these companies mostly survive because of government people doing Uncle Milty’s 3rd way to spend money, so they don’t care that much that it costs so much).
OK, the students are going to have to pay, but actually for many, and particularly women, they don’t. If you’re doing a degree in psychology or history, it adds very little to earnings, and by the time you start earning good, and paying back, you’re married and pregnant, then returning to work part time. Then the kids leave home around the same time that your loan gets wiped out.