The amount of college debt is skyrocketing in the United States while job opportunities sought by graduates are dwindling. Costly undergrad and graduate degrees used to be the passport to a middle class lifestyle but are now leading to a growing number of indebted youth who are bitter about their time in higher ed. Have modern ideas of higher education been so deeply shaped by the logic of the financial sector that we won’t find an alternative? What methods of self-learning can we use to gain skills while avoiding the debt burden of a university education?
In Extraenvironmentalist #59 we speak with critical theorist Max Haiven about the financialization of higher education and how it has limited our imagination. Max discusses the Edufactory Collective and how we can’t separate the university from the transformations underway in global capitalism. Then, we talk to Kio Stark about her recent book Don’t Go Back to School: A Handbook for Learning Anything to discuss how successful self-learners were able to master skills without going through institutions of higher education.