More praise for IQ2 US
“It's a real public service to have debates that bring top-tier participants together and add the sizzle of prize fight competition to a discussion of issues of first-order importance.”
- The Atlantic
Too Many Kids Go To College: Our First Debate in Chicago
From the Panel
For: Charles Murray
- Are Too Many People Going to College?
Charles Murray, American, September 8, 2008
America’s university system is creating a class-riven nation. There has to be a better way.
- For Most People, College is a Waste of Time
Charles Murray, Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2008
Young people entering the job market should have a known, trusted measure of their qualifications they can carry into job interviews. That measure should express what they know, not where they learned it or how long it took them. They need a certification, not a degree.
- Intelligence and College
Charles Murray, National Affairs, October 1, 2009
In an age when everyone from parents to presidents urges every child to go to college, a simple truth is almost universally ignored: Only a small minority of high-school graduates have the intelligence to succeed in college.
- Articles and Commentary by Charles Murray
American Enterprise Institute
Read more by Charles Murray at AEI.
For: Peter Thiel
- College Doesn’t Create Success
Peter Thiel, Room for Debate, New York Times, August 25, 2011
For some people in some careers, some colleges may be worth the price they charge. But millions of other people are paying more than quadruple what their parents paid 25 years ago (plus inflation) for a vague credential, not much knowledge or skills, and a crippling amount of debt.
- The Education of a Libertarian
Peter Thiel, CATO Institute, April 13, 2009
Peter Thiel does not believe that freedom and democracy are compatible and that today’s politics will never foster a free market and unadulterated capitalism. Thiel cites cyberspace, outer space, and seasteading as alternative frontiers to achieve an ideal libertarian society.
- Peter Thiel: We're in a Bubble and It's Not the Internet. It's Higher Education
Sarah Lacy, TechCrunch April 10, 2011
For Thiel, the bubble that has taken the place of housing is the higher education bubble. “A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” he says. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States.”
- 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship
The Thiel Foundation
Fellows pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin to build the technology companies of tomorrow. During their two-year tenure, each Fellow will receive $100,000 from the Thiel Foundation as well as mentorship from the Foundation’s network of tech entrepreneurs and innovators.
- Peter Thiel On What You Can’t Learn In College
Jennifer Wang, Entrepreneur, September 7, 2011
Peter Thiel talks about the fellowship he created in May 2011 that awards 20 individuals under the age of 20 $100,000 and access to a network of about a hundred high-profile mentors to turn their business hopes into reality.
Against: Henry Bienen
- The Financial Crisis & the Future of Higher Education
Henry Bienen and David Boren, Forum Futures, 2010 October 4, 2010
The authors consider the impact of the financial crisis on financial aid and the ability to attract lower-income students to higher education, as well as the importance of defending the liberal arts and global education in the face of pressure toward vocational education and cost cutting.
- In Defense of For-Profit Colleges
Henry Bienen, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2010
Nonprofit public universities such as the University of California are cutting access because of cost pressures, and many students are now failing to find suitable places in state and community colleges. For-profit colleges offer these students paths to better careers and higher earnings.
- The Bienen Years
Jay Pridmore, Northwestern, Winter 2008
A profile of Henry Bienen in Northwestern Magazine.
- Q&A with Jeff Wendt
Jeff Wendt, Today’s Campus
After 14 years as president of Northwestern University, Dr. Bienen has retired. But retirement is an opportunity to free up time for a multitude of other endeavors, one of which is vice chairman of privately-held Rasmussen College and Deltak.
Against: Vivek Wadhwa
- Friends Don’t Let Friends Take Education Advice From Peter Thiel
Vivek Wadhwa, TechCrunch, April 12, 2011
What matters is gaining a basic education and completing what you started—not the ranking of the school you graduate from.
- Five Myths About Entrepreneurs
Vivek Wadhwa, Washington Post, July 29, 2011
The legends of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and other high-tech entrepreneurs have fed a stereotypical vision of innovation in America: Mix a brainy college dropout, a garage-incubated idea and a powerful venture capitalist, stir well, and you get the latest Silicon Valley powerhouse. That’s Hollywood’s version of technological innovation; unfortunately, it’s also the one that venture capitalists try to fund and government planners seek to replicate.
- Engineering vs. Liberal Arts: Who’s Right—Bill or Steve?
Vivek Wadhwa, March 21, 2011
Our society needs liberal-arts majors as much as it does engineers and scientists.
- Education and Tech Entrepreneurship
Vivek Wadhwa, Richard B. Freeman and Ben Rissing
In a survey of 652 U.S.-born chief executive officers and heads of product development in 502 engineering and technology companies, the authors of this paper observed that U.S.-born engineering and technology company founders tend to be well-educated, with significant differences in the types of degrees obtained and the time in which they started a company after graduating.
- Articles and Papers by Vivek Wadhwa
Read more by Vivek Wadhwa on his website.
Articles For & Against
For the Motion
- An Anti-College Backlash?
Professor X, Atlantic, March 31, 2011
The system has expanded in ways that industry always expands: by jacking up prices, putting money into public relations, and broadening the customer base by marketing even to customers dubiously served by the product.
- In the Basement of the Ivory Tower
Professor X, Atlantic, June 2008
The idea that a university education is for everyone is a destructive myth. An instructor at a “college of last resort” explains why.
- Some Say Bypassing a Higher Education is Smarter Than Paying for a Degree
Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post, September 2010
Hear this, high achievers: If you crunch the numbers, some experts say, college is a bad investment.
- What’s Wrong With Our Universities?
James Pierson, New Criterion, September 2011
A college education is now deemed one of those prizes that, if good for a few, must therefore be good for everyone, even if no one in a position of academic authority can define what such an education is or should be. These conceptions are at the heart of the democratic revolution in higher education.
- Plan B: Skip College
Jacques Steinberg, New York Times, May 15, 2010
A small but influential group of economists and educators is pushing another pathway: for some students, no college at all.
- Don’t Send Your Kids to College
James Altucher, February 9, 2010
Children have been brainwashed by society into thinking that college is a good thing for young, intelligent, ambitious young people.
- The University Has No Clothes
Daniel B. Smith, New York Magazine, May 1, 2011
The notion that a college degree is essentially worthless has become one of the year’s most fashionable ideas, with two prominent venture capitalists (Cornell ’89 and Stanford ’89, by the way) leading the charge.
Against the Motion
- Turn On, Start Up, Drop Out
Jacob Weisberg, Slate, October 16, 2010
Hyper-libertarian Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel's appalling plan to pay students to quit college.
- Rationing College Opportunity
Michael Hout, American Prospect, October 26, 2009
Many more young people could succeed at college if given the chance. But public policy has been raising hurdles rather than increasing access.
- Our Universities: How Bad? How Good?
Peter Brooks, New York Review of Books, March 24, 2011
Universities are not so isolated from the tragic past, but they still make a claim to speak with eloquence across the centuries. They often fail, they need reform and course correction, but they are not, at their best, merely venal and self-serving.
- Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off
David Leonhardt, New York Times, June 26, 2011
I don’t doubt that the skeptics are well meaning. But, in the end, their case against college is an elitist one — for me and not for thee. And that’s rarely good advice.
- The Upward Mobility Gap
Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2011
College-educated Americans live in a different country than high school dropouts. The best way to mend the divide is by providing access to a decent education.
- Once Again: Is College Worth It?
Catherine Rampell, New York Times, May 20, 2011
It’s true that the job market for new college graduates stinks right now. The job market for non-graduates is worse.
- Why Education Without Creativity Isn’t Enough
Anya Kamenetz, Fast Company September 14, 2011
Our education system has plenty of critics, but when facing the mercurial demands of today's job market, it seems there's still a profound need for the social, discursive, American liberal-arts model at its best.