Aiming For the Top — The Merits of Higher Education

Aiming For the Top — The Merits of Higher Education
  • Opening Intro -

    An education is many things. One of them is, of course, an investment in the future.

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If it wasn’t for education, populations would be stunted in their ability to move forward, to innovate and to develop skills that contribute to personal growth as well as to society as a whole.

Higher education offers all sorts of programs from undergraduate civil engineering to English literature and computer science among many other subjects at any number of institutions throughout the world. The opportunity to study such focused, fascinating academic curriculums are in themselves formative, but education allows people to see the world in different ways. Some of them you might never be able to experience again.

Personal Growth

For the individual, the future is about choices. As much as many young people would like to think this parental favorite untrue, the reality is that the decisions made early in life do affect the future. Not everyone has a clear path to follow by their 20th birthday, but many will by this time have a sense of what they’re good at and what challenges them. It’s imperative to use education to further personal interests and passions, since this inevitably leads to a happy, fulfilling professional life. Understanding personal strengths and weaknesses can help individuals develop tools to succeed and contribute to the community.

Global Opportunities

Now that we live in a globalized world, education has become much more than sitting through lectures in the halls of academic institutions. Education is — for many — the perfect (and perhaps only) vehicle for traveling abroad (or simply away from home) and experiencing a world outside their own. Immersion into a new culture is an education unto itself and one that can deeply enhance the perspectives and prospects of future generations. Understanding how other people live, whether in the next town or around the world, will affect how future generations think, connect and interact in almost every aspect of modern life.

Contributions to Society

There’s no question that some of civilization’s most significant discoveries have come as a result of educational institutions investing in their students. The academic landscape is constantly evolving thanks to an ever-shifting population of fresh young minds bringing new ideas to life in innovative ways. Education creates scope for students to express ideas, the resources to develop them and the network to deliver them in all kinds of formats to the world at large. Not only do programs like civil engineering teach practical skills that are sought after in the professional world, they’re also a gateway to studying more theoretical and abstract concepts that will facilitate their understanding of the world and how they can contribute to it.

The world is changing rapidly. From technology to social dynamics, education provides an historical understanding, a modern context and the dialogue and vision to anticipate what the future may hold for both themselves and the world at large. An education is one of life’s most significant opportunities. Learn, grow and contribute. 

Image by edbrambley,

Lillian Everett is a university dean. She also works with various NGOs to help disadvantaged people into education.

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