Bill Gates expands influence — and money — into higher education


imagesHigher education is a topic that needs reform and Bill Gates is helping with the movement.  In The Chronicles of Higher Education he has exposed how he is doing the same thing in higher education: spending his own money to remake the system.  Gates wants to minimize the time students spend getting a degree.  He is using technology and “competency-based learning,” which in part rewards students for what they know rather than for how many credits they take in college. His vision includes  ways to measure everything, largely through testing.

Gates is getting students ready for jobs after college which is the most rational approach when it comes to employment and student debt.  “The Gates Effect” reports that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent $472 million on higher education since 2006 — with the vast majority since 2008 — on this agenda, including money to media organizations “to keep its reform goals on the national agenda.”

Critics  say “‘Next Generation’ Grant Program Reveals Hands-on, Corporate Approach.” The latter story makes clear that the Gates investments in higher education are not intended to support higher education “for its own sake.”  Higher education clearly needs improvement and if Bill Gates wants to support it with funds than he shouldn’t be stopped.

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