Bill Gates in Higher Education: Two Sides of The Coin

Bill Gates coming to the higher education sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? A successful man is about to spread his knowledge and experience with young minds. So why are there so many unsatisfied opinions around this subject?
After his initiative to modify K-12 education, Gates couple turned their attention toward higher education sector.
Their goal is noble. They want to assess the “college’s worth.” Essentially, they plan to establish a Postsecondary Value Commission that will develop methods and strategies to estimate the value of postsecondary degrees and certificates. Eventually, getting the answer to “what is College’s ROI?”
But after looking back at what Bill Gates has done with K-12 education, it’s hard to believe for some people that higher education will see any good from this initiative.
His ideas, backed by the wealth, backfired and created chaos and unhealthy effect on the education system and schools. Gates’s foundation invested about $215 million into the idea of improving teaching, leaving people waiting for an additional $300 million. You can already see how costly it is to enroll in Bill Gates’ project.
If the results are so apparent, why keep going? Well, there are opinions about why Gates wants to blaze a trail in education, but it’s not even close to what his foundation says to be aiming for.

Bill Gates in Higher Education

As mentioned above, Gates family launched Postsecondary Value Commission. Millie Garcia, President of AASCU/Co-chair at the Gates Commission, believes that if they are able to provide a clear definition of raw value of college, they will transform higher education sector completely.
In 2017, Federal government allocated $29 million to about 7.2 million college students. If the congress eventually agrees to adopt the Gates’ measuring mechanism, it’s said that congress would be able to define the worth of federal financial aid and if it is spent correctly.
Anthony P. Carnevale says that this measuring tool will be efficient, but it will also be brutal.
Those who argue about Bill Gates initiative’s accuracy bring the argument of the Gates Policy Initiative – “efforts to move people from poverty to employment.” This proposes that there’s a distinct connection between ending poverty by employing people. Although employment is a positive result, it’s not a 100% guarantee of ending poverty. Where are the initiatives to give people better-paying jobs? How about implementing strategies to reduce poverty?
In his book, Anand Giridharadas says that significant, obviously philanthropic actions, coming from billionaires have deeper roots and desires. They thrive to maintain their higher status in the social order. Why not give money directly to the educators, experts and school funding systems? Why keep entering the industry yourself? Rather than doing this, Bill Gates builds programs to replicate his values and opinion on the education system.
But of course, every coin has two sides. Bill Gates’ initiative sounds like a dream for some, and a nightmare for the other. It’s about where you situate your values and how you perceive these changes. But Congress has yet to adopt the measuring tool


Marita Pilauri

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