As students head off to college and universities this month, a global rethink is needed to make higher education more affordable, accessible and useful. Many young people have entrepreneurial spirit and exceptional drive, but unless large corporations and government provide them support many will not be able to succeed.

One way to do this is by introducing shorter degrees.  While higher education isn’t always right for everyone, it can be both a necessity for a specific career as well as rewarding, but many graduates feel they could have fit their studies into a far shorter time period.

Most three year degrees could easily fit into two years, which would not only give students a faster learning speed, but would reduce the high maintenance costs required to attend universities and allow people to get started on their careers sooner.  Additionally, more graduates would be free to start up their own businesses or begin contributing to a company immediately.

Strategies To Make Higher Education More Affordable and Accessible

  • Use Innovation to Increase Speed to Degree

There are several exciting innovations in higher education, including competency-based education (CBE) programs take into account students’ existing skill set and experience to help move them through a program at the pace that works for them.

  • Simplify Tuition

Offer a one tuition price model, be upfront about the cost and offer discounts only to need-based students, so they could more easily plan for the future.

  • Improve Student Transfer Policies

More than 30 million people in this country have some college credit but no degree. These students have invested time and money in their education already, and schools should make it easy for those credits to transfer.

  • Adapt to New Learning Norms

New technology means more learning styles can be adapted. Arizona State University is a pioneer in using technology to gauge how well students are learning in real time. Based on those results, professors can adapt their courses to ensure everyone is meeting learning standards.

  • Focus on Retention

Spend time ensuring students are successful, not just on recruiting them.

For the the world’s education system to remain effective and continue to produce the brightest and the best, we need to rethink education to be more inclusive, accessible and affordable.