I don't get higher education.
A professor, likely not in the top of their field at the college you attend, charges you exorbitant money per hour to attend their class.
Class is, mostly, them assigning you a ridiculously expensive book to read - authored by someone you've never heard of - and you reading it and listening to some lecture and then taking a test to prove that you were paying attention.
Ten classes a year and four years later, and you're deemed educated. Why? Because someone forced you to read books you wouldn't have otherwise read.
Or, you can go down to the Barnes & Noble and get a book by the best in their field - world renowned even - for $15 and read it yourself.
Or, if you feel like it, you can get the used versions of the books being assigned at colleges and read them for far less money than you would pay to sit in class and be told to read the book.
Rarely when I was in college did I feel that the professor (or about half the time, a TA) added a great deal to the study. There were exceptions to be sure, but they were rare.
I say all of this because it's 1:20 AM and I'm working on the payment processing module of 247Toolset - which is a big implementation. As I do this, I'm incorporating into the fundraising flow some things I read in The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson. Exceptional book, and one not often required by college professors. Had I not read the book, I'm certain that I wouldn't have thought of doing things in the way I'm building them.
Is the problem that people just don't like to read unless they're forced to do so? Therefore, they're willing to part with a ton of money to be forced to read books and work to retain the information they read?
Or is it just for the piece of paper at the end that tells me I'm "official" - that I actually read the books and did the homework to the satisfaction of forty professors? Because I have to say, it's pretty obvious within a ten minute conversation, regardless of the paper in hand, whether or not someone has invested themselves in education. And if you ask the right questions during the conversation, you'll learn whether or not they know how to apply their knowledge.
So I don't get it.