We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The power of universities comes from their monopoly of credentials. As Richard Vedder so deeply understands in his “Going Broke by Degree,” they are the only institutions allowed to separate young individuals by IQ and by the ability to complete complex tasks. They do not add value to that, except in technical fields. Recruiters do not pay premiums because of what the Ivy League or the flagship state universities teach in English, history, political science, or sociology. They hire there despite, not because of, that. Recruiters do not pay premiums because our children have been sent to multicultural centers for sensitivity training. Recruiters pay premiums for the value already there, which universities merely identify. So long as recruiters pay premiums, however, it is rational for parents who wish to gain the most options for their children to send them to the university with the most prestigious degree. That will not change in the current scheme.
I teach Maths at a UK University. I believe I add substantial value by teaching students to think very hard and extremely accurately.
I do this by teaching them to do high level Maths. They really do think a lot better by the end of their course. I am told that studies have shown substantial changes in brain structure associated with studying Maths.
Several History and Philosophy degrees teach similar levels of difficult thinking.
Might I suggest that it is the subject matter in many of these degree courses which is the problem, not the whole idea of a university-level course of study?
The college course from which I got [and retained] the most training in rigorous thought was my Logic course. It taught me to take a statement and analyze it, break it down into its separate components and discover its weaknesses and strengths. If I had ever had a child of my own, which, sadly, I did not, I would have insisted that Logic be a requirement for graduation, if the child wanted my assistance in funding his education.