Is The Lambda School Model The Future of Higher Education?


Scott J Davies

Scott Davies is a freelance writer and tutor. He is currently studying a Master of Education. He is interested in education, economics, geopolitics and history. He's on Twitter and has a Medium page.

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10 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Because repayment is also contingent on employment, this reduces the risk for the student and increases it greatly for the college, in this instance Lambda.

    This is key. Direct public financing of tuition through taxes reduces the incentive of the school to ensure the student is well educated and trained and capable of being a strong contributor to society.

    The downside is, of course, that putting that much risk on the school means they are going to be very picky about who they accept.Report

    • Avatar Jesse says:

      One social worker making $30k is more of a “contributor” to society than a 1,000 coders, in my view. So, if Silicon Valley wants to open schools on their own, that’s fine, but the idea public education should only be about “return on investment” and that the only goal of education should be a job is the worst thing about modern America.

      Public tertiary education should be gloriously funded and free at point of use, so that a poor kid from Alabama can just as easily choose to get a degree in Philosophy without being told that if he doesn’t get a Computer Science degree that he’s doomed to be in debt forever.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

        Not every contributor to society needs to make bank and pay lots of taxes.

        But if you have a school for Social Workers where the graduates are less than useless because they got a crap education, then that is a problem. Especially if the school still gets paid by the state because it’s politically connected.

        I’m all for any system that forces the school to have more skin in the game than just a bit of reputation.Report

        • I agree Oscar, I think the fact that this model makes the school more accountable for outcomes is one of the biggest positives about itReport

        • Avatar dragonfrog says:

          In a model where the requisite education is paid in a model similar to individual income tax, yes they do need to make bank individually, or the programs that train those people will shortly be shut down by the universities, in favour of programs to train day traders and other non-contributing arbitrageurs.

          The benefits of social workers accrue to society through other means though – their clients earn more income, need fewer medical, law-enforcement, and other interventions. Formalizing this into an accounting framework where the university that trained the social worker sees a cut of the reduction in social costs of their clients’ problems, seems… challenging.

          Now, if we’re proposing a system where social workers get paid better – I’m all for that…Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

            I’d say let’s start with degrees that lead to careers where the metric is easily measured (i.e. earnings). If it works well, then we can see about how to extend the model toward degree/careers where the metric is less measurable.Report

            • Avatar dragonfrog says:

              That makes sense.

              As a bonus of such a model, there would be a strong incentive for the school to form partnerships with employers that do not do the unpaid internship thing.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog says:

      Direct public financing of tuition through taxes reduces the incentive of the school to ensure the student is well educated and trained and capable of being a strong contributor to society

      Where “contributing to” is defined as “extracting from”.Report

  2. Avatar CJColucci says:

    “Perdue University?” The jokes tell themselves.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The main thing that I’d wonder is whether the first group of students is unrepresentative of the students that will be Lambdaites in 2025. Are the Cream of the Crop (the *OVERLOOKED* cream of the crop) in this first batch of kids and then when the mushy middle that has heretofore been getting degrees that involve more, shall we say, unmeasurables starts transferring over to Lambda, will we see a huge regression to the mean?Report