- What is the Education Freedom Program (EduFree)?
- Watch the Video
- Why Would Students Want to Do This?
- Why Would Universities Want to Do This?
- What You Can do
- Help a Student Pay for School
- Contact Us
What is the Education Freedom Program (EduFree)?
The education freedom program is the idea that students should have the freedom to get the highest quality and most affordable education available to them.
More concretely, this means that students should be able to maintain their enrollment at an education institution as long as they take one course, while getting course credits at different schools across the country.
Visit the reddit page to read comments from other people: r/EducationFreedom
Watch the Video
Consider this example:
I’m currently enrolled as a software engineering student at Western University. I should be able to take a calculus course from University of Alberta, my mathematics course from University of Waterloo and Economics from Carleton University, Linear algebra from Coursera and my Engineering design group project I can take at my home university at Western.
While doing this I can still benefit from all the advantages my home university, Western University has to offer. On Monday, I go to the campus gyms, I have my first experience of adulthood by moving out and staying in the campus dorms, I play on the varsity soccer team, play intramural volleyball.
Replace the above schools and programs with your program and your country. It doesn’t matter, the idea is the same. Students should have the freedom to seek the most affordable education for the highest quality price.
Why Would Students Want to Do This?
It’s cheaper. Once students can pick and choose between courses offered in different universities. Schools will need to offer competitive pricing to attract students.
You get better education: No longer are you restricted to only learning from the professors at your university. Perhaps you want to learn about history of Rome but your University only offers history of Greece. Or maybe your school offers both, but you prefer the professor at another university. As a student, you should have a right to go to wherever you can get the education you want.
Why Would Universities Want to Do This?
The First Universities to implement Education Freedom will have a first mover advantage
In January 2014, I was facing the most difficult decision of my life. I was picking what university to attend and my final two choices were Queen’s and Western University. Both schools had excellent programs and a great reputation. I’d visited both campuses and they were both beautiful. I could equally see myself having a good experience at both schools. I remember agonzing for weeks over the decision. To say they were evenly tied would be an understatement. The single thing that tipped me towards choosing Western was they had a dual degree Engineering and Business program, with the Ivey Business school. Meanwhile at Queen’s I had to choose between either doing Engineering or Queen’s Commerce (business), but I couldn’t do both.
I remember thinking to myself, “wow, most students who go to Ivey, probably also considered going to Queen’s. I wonder how many top students chose Ivey because of Queen simply for the single reason that Ivey has the dual degree program?” Imagine, how much money in alumni donations Queen’s has missed out on, simply because of all the smart, driven students that wanted to go to Queen’s but chose not to because they didn’t offer them as much freedom.
The exact same thing will happen with Education Freedom. At first most schools will resist. But then very quickly some very smart schools will offer their students education Freedom and then we’re off to the races. When students are choosing between what schools to attend, just like I did a few years ago, the schools that offer Education Freedom will be at a massive advantage. Students will check to see if their school offers Education Freedom, the same way that students check to see if a potential school offers things like co-op, varsity sports, amenities. It will eventually become a requirement for all schools. The schools who will be last to adapt, will be at a massive disadvantage.
What You Can do
Right now everything I’ve said today is just an idea,It’s called the Education Freedom Program, merely because I needed to give it a name beyond just Education Freedom, so it’s easier to search on the internet, but it’s really just an idea. No one owns this idea, but we need to share it as wide and far as possible so we can get more people talking about this.
Share this article With Two People (one student and one educator)
So here’s all you need to do: Share this article or video with two people: one person who is a student and one person you know who is in the education industry, it can be a professor, an administrator, your student council president, anyone! Also send them the link to educationfreedomprogram.org, it has a lot more details that I couldn’t get to in this essay and there’s a subreddit called r/EducationFreedom we set up for people to discuss the ideas more.
If you work in Education, Bring this Up At Your Next Board or Staff Meeting
If you are in the education industry or work for the government, we need your help. I strongly encourage you to bring up this concept at your next staff or board meeting. If you can’t pass it at the school level, try passing it at the faculty level. If you want me to come and talk to your team about the details of how this could work email me (email@example.com).
If you’re a Student, ask Student Council to Bring this up at Next Board Meeting
If you are a student, email the head of your school or faculty’s student council and make sure it gets added to the agenda of your school’s next board meeting. Post about this on your school’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. People in student council and student government put great effort into making sure you vote for them and talk about all the great things they will do for students once elected. Tell them that now is the time to act, this is why people voted for them. This is one of the most important things they can do to help students.
Help a Student Pay for School
Consider Contributing towards one of these scholarships to help a student with their education:
Atila Continuous Learning Scholarship: Any student that is working on a side-project or learning a new skill
Justice for Indian Farmers Scholarship: A scholarship for any Sikh or Indian heritage student.
Mojisola and Victoria Scholarship: Any student that comes from a low-income family.
Black and Indigineous (BIPOC) Scholarship: A student that is a black or indigineous person of color.
The Olumide and Aramide Scholarship: A scholarship for any student that has overcome adversity
Women Creators Scholarship: Any woman in high school, university or college.
Won’t a free market on courses make university more expensive?
According to the laws of supply and demand, a free market on courses, would increase the supply of courses available to each student and make courses cheaper. Note that we support a free market on courses with a price cap, also note that most universities all over the world already have a cap on how much they can charge in tuition.
Think of the car industry. As the technology for making cars became more democratized and combined with the rise of free trade, driving a car became more democratized and affordable. Owning a car was no longer limited to the rich and affluent. Middle class and low-income people were also able to afford a car. Democratizing access to Education freedom would have a smiliar effect. You would see the benefit on both sides: On the low end, more low-income students would be able to afford going to university or college and on the high end, the more expensive courses would also become more affordable.
Why not just make university free?
We fully support free k-12 education. Free post-secondary education is also ideal. However, it seems like free post-secondary education is just too divisive of a topic and would face too much pusback. We think that a happy medium that everyone can agree on is just making education more affordable.
Advocating for Education Freedom is not mutually exclusive and does not take away from those who are advocating for free education. We can do both.