Huge structural changes are looming for the education sector

 Huge structural changes are looming for the education sector. Think of how angry you would be if you were one of the last students to get so deeply into debt before everything changes. - Gordon White

The changes are a coming and the last people that will see it are the ones with the vested interest in the established ways of doing things, the very things that are going to be changed. What happened to the infrastructure of the horse drawn carriage and vehicle market as the internal combustion engine arrived; they saw it but did they respond to it?

Maybe having a vested interest makes change difficult or maybe they do not have a way of changing. One thing that appears clear to me as I get older is how difficult it would be for me to do something different than being musician. Fortunately being an music gives some flexibility but if I was somebody trained in a skill for which there is no more demand without an aspect of being able to step sideways and use my skills somewhere else then it would be so difficult for me to do something else. Of course for people who made wheels for carts or tack for horses the arrival of the motor car must have been a disaster, and in those days there was no such thing as retraining.

I see dangerous parallels with the past with the added necessity for retraining being part of the landscape of future employment on top of all debt that a young student will accumulate from university and of course retraining will not be free either. It looks like a good strategy to keep the wheels of academia oiled following the principle of medicine that it is more profitable to treat chronical sick than to cure as you have returning business.

Over the last few weeks I have been pondering the way that art and music can help people become more flexible in the way that they think and also looking at the possibility of what you do as an artist to make money. The principles that people want to be educated and be entertained still holds  Many people want to become rock stars in their dreams particularly when a young. Performance skills being used in the world of business for public speaking is a good example of how artistic skills can be turned to a profitable skill.

Extra to the opening quotation is the idea that much of today’s education can be established virtually for free online and this is an advantage that we should use to subvert the system but we should also see its failings that we will end up with many people doing the same thing because the reference points are the same so again the world of the arts and the ability to re-design and re-engineer yourself in a sort of Bowie-esque way is something that you need to work on.

But remember the Nobel laureate’s quote from the 1960s that ‘the times they are a changing’.

Vic three days of rocking out and learning the tricks of the trade from professional musicians and teachers with years of experience but hurry spaces are limited and next year’s allocation is already three-quarter sold-out.