Christopher Joannou / The Silhouette

For as long as I can recall, higher education has generally been perceived to be directly correlated to success.

Until now, I saw no reason to question that. But as a current university student, I’m beginning to wonder if I should.

The government tells us that a degree increases your opportunity of getting a job. In other words, education is the key to your success.

Our parents tell us the same. It doesn’t leave you with much of an option, does it? All this basically tells me is, go to university and get a degree, or be unsuccessful.

I believe that being educated is one the keys to success, and that by following rules and passing exams you’ll do fine, but how can school expand your knowledge and improve your education if, for the most part, all it does is force us to cram information into our heads to pass an exam, only to walk out of the exam and forget almost all of it?

For the most part, exams don’t even allow us to showcase our knowledge; they use multiple choice questions, which are really meant for making things more efficient to mark rather than helping us to learn.

Multiple choice not only kills the creativity of an individual, but it forces us to conform to a set of answers designed in a way to set you up for failure.

All that I’ve learned from multiple choice is that, when I don’t know an answer, just pick C and that for the most part, it’s a game of luck – all the answers sound the same.

Education should be about inspiring one’s mind, not just filling it.

As a university student, I spend 50 per cent of my time trying to study and the other 50 per cent trying to avoid it.

Not all of the procrastination is wasted time, though. I saw a quote on Facebook by Albert Einstein, and it states, “education is not the learning of fact, but the training of the mind to think,” and I don’t think that universities are doing a good job at allowing us to think.

But one of the main questions regarding education that strikes me is: does success in the school system correlate to success in life?

Or is the school system simply geared towards fact retention and regurgitation that’s only going to push me through to get my degree? To be blunt, browsing the Internet expands my knowledge more than sitting in a lecture attempting to stay awake.

University used to be the product of the individuals whose parents could afford to support them throughout school. It was an esteemed level of exclusive education that required outstanding marks.

But now, the system has been broken wide open and tertiary education is available to a far greater number of students. Really, anyone who wants to go to university can go, regardless of marks or family status. Sadly, Universities have become businesses in a market place, and thanks to the evolution of university fees, students have become nothing but customers.

Life is long, and we spend all of it learning. To assume that all the learning much happen with a university degree in the year 2013 is one of the greatest mistakes to make.

The exclusivity of a university degree, which was once the core of its intrinsic value, no longer exists, and University has now become more of an expected requirement than an exclusive right. A university degree has become more expensive, and at the same time become more plentiful and less likely to be a cause of profitable employment.

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