Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal and one of the most vocal critics of higher education, believes that college classrooms are doing little to equip our future CEOs, innovators and industry leaders. Thiel has a point. Some of the brightest students might be better off not going to college at all, being forced to take classes in which they have no interest and leaving with burdensome student loan debt.

Last year, Thiel took things into his own hands and started the "20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship," a program that brings together the most enterprising students younger than 20 and offers them a $100,000 grant to skip college and explore their own research and entrepreneurial ideas. Under the tutelage of investors, scientists and like-minded industry tycoons, students are able to develop connections, court investors and promote their businesses on a level that Thiel says colleges cannot provide.

asked 19 Apr '12, 22:27

robrambusch's gravatar image

robrambusch ♦

I think anybody should be afraid of Peter Thiel. Colleges are doing little "to equip our future CEOs, innovators and industry leaders" because there are more important things than creating the next Facebook. Thiel sounds as pedantic as those trying to defend the academic values of universities. But if you ask me, I would rather have someone like Daphne Koller to shape the future of higher education.


answered 20 Apr '12, 22:31

miguel's gravatar image


I think udacity offering their tests for every class every 8 weeks is also a great step in the right direction. IMO the failure in education is ignoring the importance of spaced repetition. Without some form of repeated test->review opportunities, all we can hope to keep from a traditional education is the core material that was repeatedly built upon.
(21 Apr '12, 12:00) lossleader lossleader's gravatar image
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