Do colleges seem hopelessly outdated?

To me, conventional colleges seem hopelessly outdated, brutally expensive process that no longer serves the interest of society or of most students. Do many students have a great experience at college? Yes. But there is massive room for improvement. Here are six benefits that a new educational approach called “Open Loop University” (ushered by Stanford Uni) would offer it’s future recipients, should it be approved:

  • a range of legitimate patterns of learning (gap years, etc.) so that early-career students used their time and investment in on-campus learning wisely and for greater impact
  • a way for older adults to pivot careers with an academic grounding, and to reconnect with a meaningful and energizing social context later in life
  • a broader mix of students by creating on-ramps at many ages; enabled populations traditionally underrepresented at elite institutions to gain greater access once they had time to overcome disadvantaged circumstances
  • newer operational infrastructures for the University would offer it the ability to handle a more dynamic and shifting on-campus population
  • a distributed engagement model to maintain the broader network of student populi
  • capitalize on the remarkable accomplishments of its populi through the invitation to return to campus as expert practitioners.

What do you think? Does this picture make more sense to view college as a lifelong endeavour, rather than something you cram in before starting your actual career? Do you have any better ideas?