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Do we need universities when we can just teach ourselves anything on the internet? watch

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    Literally at the click of a button. You can read just about anything about any subject online, read books and articles, engage in debate, etc. Has the internet made degrees kind of redundant? Especially with the ludicrously high tuition fees that the vast majority of students will never be able to pay back.

    Ok, I accept that vocational degrees like Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, etc., need practical experience but maybe the practical subjects should be the only subjects taught at a higher education level?

    As for English, History, Languages, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, and the like... Learn about them yourselves in the comfort of your own homes!! Result: no tuition fees, no stupid debt...
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    (Original post by Lh030396)
    Literally at the click of a button. You can read just about anything about any subject online, read books and articles, engage in debate, etc. Has the internet made degrees kind of redundant? Especially with the ludicrously high tuition fees that the vast majority of students will never be able to pay back.

    Ok, I accept that vocational degrees like Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, etc., need practical experience but maybe the practical subjects should be the only subjects taught at a higher education level?

    As for English, History, Languages, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, and the like... Learn about them yourselves in the comfort of your own homes!! Result: no tuition fees, no stupid debt...
    I think we do, absolutely, because what these online courses don't have, is exams, which most courses I believe still have... online tests are all very well, but you can easily cheat on them if doing them at home. The argument about test centres comes into it, which I agree with can help around this, however, I think the ability to actually talk to lecturers/seminar leaders is very important.

    Also, universities are a massive part of research. Not only do the lecturers/professors do their research, but it also gives students an ideal way to get involved in the research, and to experience it first hand, which an online course doesn't give...

    Also, I would say that university isn't all about the degree (I mean, yes it is, but ALSO other things...). For many, especially those who didn't go to boarding school, its the first time away from home for any period, with the financial support from maintenance loans, and is a massive part of growing up imo - not to say if you don't go to uni you don't grow up, you just have different experiences...

    Having said all that, I think online courses really are fantastic, and being developed better and better - I study Business Finance & Economics at uni, but am teaching myself to code using online courses and tutorials... From comparing them, I find teaching myself to code much more difficult in that I can't really go and chat to someone to understand a problem, which I can do with my degree at uni...

    Upsides to both, but I don't think online courses will be the extinction of unis - if anything, we'd just see a growth of online universities, not too dissimilar from the OU.
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    Teaching yourself anything via the internet belies the reality of the situation. It's like pushing someone who can't read into the British Library and tell them to come out in a few months with an expert knowledge of some topic.

    Universities are there to structure and guide your learning - if you don't know what you're looking at or for, how can you expect to master it? The hallmark of a good student is a willingness to take responsibility for his own learning, and this necessarily involves a great deal of independent learning, but this is at all times guided by those who have acquired this knowledge and have the ability to effectively transmit it.
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    Have at it, these degrees cost about 5 thousand quid:

    http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk...s=%20tid%3A557
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    1. Who creates the knowledge you say exists at the click of a button? -> your question at best is not do we need universities but do we need university teaching.
    2. What about proof? Not withstanding that there may be fraud of course, there is a certification of knowledge and work that comes with a degree.
    3. How do you decide what is relevant, correct? Degrees are there to structure your learning. On your own you would just subsume to confirmation bias. Of course in subjects like maths that is not the case.
    4. Can everyone gain a good understanding by simple reading rather than being taught? Unless you argue every lecturer is awful, then the teaching part and probably even more important the discussion part are vital. Of course in the future it could be the case that you have virtual lectures, and discussion on forums rather than sitting in class and then in a study room with course mates. But I would still call that university, just a different kind.
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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    Have at it, these degrees cost about 5 thousand quid:

    http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk...s=%20tid%3A557
    Theology with Computing sounds good. Deus ex Machina. what what ?

    :ahee:
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    What about degrees in which part of the overall grade depends on lab work, such as the sciences? Most people don't have a science lab or the equipment/chemicals in their own home.
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    (Original post by Lh030396)
    Literally at the click of a button. You can read just about anything about any subject online, read books and articles, engage in debate, etc. Has the internet made degrees kind of redundant? Especially with the ludicrously high tuition fees that the vast majority of students will never be able to pay back.

    Ok, I accept that vocational degrees like Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, etc., need practical experience but maybe the practical subjects should be the only subjects taught at a higher education level?

    As for English, History, Languages, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, and the like... Learn about them yourselves in the comfort of your own homes!! Result: no tuition fees, no stupid debt...
    By large majority, who will educated themselves in these matters?

    Even in non vocational studies, certain aspects of lives require knowledge of these things.

    Otherwise, who will have say in how these things are taught? will it all reflect the same information or adequate information if purely online?
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    This is why they're steadily introducing more online courses.
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    (Original post by Lh030396)
    Literally at the click of a button. You can read just about anything about any subject online, read books and articles, engage in debate, etc. Has the internet made degrees kind of redundant? Especially with the ludicrously high tuition fees that the vast majority of students will never be able to pay back.

    Ok, I accept that vocational degrees like Teaching, Medicine, Dentistry, Engineering, etc., need practical experience but maybe the practical subjects should be the only subjects taught at a higher education level?

    As for English, History, Languages, Mathematics, Economics, Sciences, and the like... Learn about them yourselves in the comfort of your own homes!! Result: no tuition fees, no stupid debt...
    Who is going to moniroe understanding and standards?

    If there is one thing TSR is good evidence of it is that the internet is a ripe source for conspirators and idots who believe whatever they see is true just becayse someone says so. Hence the regular use of videos of youtube of very questionable origin by questionable people.

    Do a distance learning course if you dont feel the university experience is for you.
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    University's more about learning just hard facts. It socializes you and eases you into the world of work. Also there's no substitute to talking in real life to experts in your field and other students who are also eager to learn.

    I think as humans we also need the structure that a structured course offers us. If it were just up to us I think most of us would concentrate just on things we're interested in and can be learnt quickly. Unfortunately the most valuable things to learn are often the hardest to get your head around.
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    For a start, it definitely depends on the subject. I could imagine that something like Maths or Computer Science you could probably have a decent shot of teaching to yourself to degree level if you're exceptionally self-motivated, but how are you going to self-teach something like Chemistry or Geology where there's a huge amount of practical work involved? By being part of a university, you've also got access to the scientific literature and huge libraries, neither of which you'd be able to access properly otherwise.
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    Another concern I would have in bypassing university to learn everything online is the huge amount of misinformation you'd have to wade through to get to some objective facts. Whenever I look at online news articles I feel overwhelmed by the volume of conflicting views in the comments beneath the article. And that's not even mentioning what allegiances or biases the writer of the original article might have.

    Ideally, a university education teaches you basic critical thinking and drills you in finding information for yourself and analysing it to pick out what's useful. Without this basic training I think a lot of people can drown in the sheer volume of information that's out there and all the competing opinions, all expressed with equal forcefulness.

    A paid-for online course is a difficult thing, however. I'm all for stuff like that as it widens access. But as pointed out above, even that raises questions about the practical experience and lab work you need for a lot of degrees.
 
 
 
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