How to make university education free again
The concept for how to make university education free is, multi faceted and a multi disciplinary one. It was developed nearly 20 years ago and despite all of its merits is still yet to be implemented.
I am not an expert in how universities operate around the world and the following is from the perspective of it being adopted in Australian universities. However I do expect that there will be many parallels and similarities between those here and others around the globe.
Notwithstanding the many brilliant minds that are in trades, services and all others that have never obtained a university degree, I believe universities are a under utilised resource. Many of our brightest minds attend universities and here is a way to better capitalise on this.
Circumstances in life, lead us all down various paths, which but for those circumstances, a different way of life would have eventuated. It is however, our very unique lives that help shape and make us who we are today. In this regard, the following would most likely never have been but for my life’s plot twists.
Here in Australia; back around the beginning of the 21st Century, generic domain names were deregistered. This meant that generic (word) domains were able to be obtained, provided that you had previously applied for one. You were then able to put in a price bid for the name. Pricing started or bidding rather, at the minimum price it cost to register a domain, which was $110. I put in the minimum bid, thinking much bigger enterprises would dominate with their much bigger cash reserves.
Not too long after the bidding had closed, I was informed that I was the winning bidder, in fact, I was the only bidder. So glad I only put down the minimum price.
The domain I secured and still have to this day, was cleaner.com.au. Upon its acquisition, I started thinking of how dynamic it really could be. A huge array of prefixed sub domains were possible, each with their own online web pages. Not only that, they were giant niches and whole industries with a simple tagline. Consider, “looking for a cleaner?” ….. cleaner.com.au. “Looking for an office cleaner?”office.cleaner.com.au. “Looking for a window cleaner?” window.cleaner.com.au. There was also the potential to brand products too, such as window.cleaner.com.au, oven.cleaner.com.au, floor.cleaner.com.au etc etc.
Following on from this was a whole other area. For example, cleaner.com.au/fuel, cleaner.com.au/energy, cleaner.com.au/living etc etc. This is where I can bring in the university component.
I was at the time, cleaning at Macquarie University and wanted to get the academic faculty deans to create graded relevant material for their students. The students findings, could then be incorporated into the cleaner.com.au/fuel entity. It would for example provide empirical evidence of CO2 emissions by cars on the road and how much it would reduce them by using the cleaner.com.au/fuel option.
I considered a cleaner fuel to be lpg and had rung lpg Australia to be told that approximately 5% of cars on the road where running on lpg and that they were mostly commercial vehicles.
I also at the time was cleaning the Head Office for the Australian Automobile Industry Association of Australia, which was the trade journal for the 25,000 petrol stations in Australia and New Zealand.
I also contacted ministerial offices and asked them, “You are giving out government grants for rainwater tank installations, why don’t you do the same for liquid petroleum gas (lpg)conversion?”
I never heard back from the minister’s office, however, around 3 months later I saw a double page spread in the metropolitan newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, promoting government grants for lpg conversions.
My intention was to find out how many petrol stations were available to do the conversions and to have cleaner.com.au/fuel available at petrol stations Australia wide. When people pulled into a service station, they would know that the “ brand” was also a web site and go to it and find an abstract overview down to PhD level information as provided by the university collaboration.
A percentage of the profits were to flow back to the universities by way of grants for further research and development of cleaner fuels. All contributing students would have their work attributed to be part of their work resume.
As the “brand” grew in terms of market share, then the model could be replicated into other areas such as cleaner/energy etc. All the while, funding grants for students and providing scholarships. Presently, I understand, for every 6 grants applied for, only one gets it and most PhD’s just sit on a shelf somewhere.
It was during this period that I came across the term, technocracy, which is effectively governance by, science and engineering. In this way people are put before profits. I wanted people to be able to make informed choices instead of ones manipulated by slick marketing campaigns in a quest for greater shareholder profits.
I rang the CSIRO and asked them, “What are the long term effects of putting a brand new baby, in a brand new car?”. The response was, “Mate we don’t know, we’re trying to find cures for cancer.” Fair enough, however ( and this why I wanted university inputs to verify), I consider that a cleaner car would be one that has been warehoused for 6 months so that all the out gassing of manufacturing materials toxins are no longer present.
This however goes against capitalism in so far as, to warehouse new cars for 6 months would create additional costs to do so. I wanted the brand cleaner to be a repository for empirically backed knowledge, so that people can make informed choices about what they do, buy, eat, live and much more.
I have tried to get this up and running in universities, however academics, generally aren’t business people or entrepreneurs and this concept was/is a big leap from what and how they know a university to operate and function.
It is for this purpose that I hope via the creation of a collective intelligence network that by having a more diversely connected cerebral input, ideas such as outlined in this story/article, can come into being.
Much more to follow, please stay tuned.
#cleanerfuel #freeunieducation #enfjbillionaire