What is the purpose of universities?

For centuries, universities have advanced humanity toward truth. Professor Jonathan Haidt speaks to why college campuses are suddenly heading in the opposite direction.

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  • In a lecture at UCCS, NYU professor Jonathan Haidt considers the 'telos' or purpose of universities: To discover truth.
  • Universities that prioritize the emotional comfort of students over the pursuit of truth fail to deliver on that purpose, at a great societal cost.
  • To make that point, Haidt quotes CNN contributor Van Jones: "I don't want you to be safe ideologically. I don't want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong—that's different."
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Want Americans to graduate college? Make it affordable.

Research from MIT's School Effectiveness & Inequality Initiative found making college more affordable cut dropout rates and boosted degree attainment.

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  • Many of the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. require a postsecondary education, while college tuition rates continue to climb.
  • Recent research finds that making college more affordable improves bachelor degree attainment.
  • Aid recipients who benefit most are students from historically underrepresented groups.
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    Believe in learners. Education that empowers people, empowers society.

    For too many people, a poor education is a destructive barrier in their lives—a source of limitation rather than opportunity. Together, we can change this.

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    • Education should fuel lifelong learning that encourages every individual to discover, develop, and deploy their unique aptitudes to improve their life and society.
    • To improve education, we need more approaches that are individualized — based on a student's aptitudes and interests.
    • We can make a difference by empowering people to create bottom-up solutions that help individuals unlock their potential.

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    The 3 keys to solving complex global problems

    We have the money to change the world. What's standing in the way?

    • What does it actually take to drive large-scale change? Co-Impact founder and CEO Olivia Leland argues that it takes more than money, voting in elections, and supporting your favorite nonprofit. Solving complex global issues takes philanthropy in concert with community advocacy, support from businesses, innovation, an organized vision, and a plan to execute it.
    • Leland has identified three areas that need to be addressed before real and meaningful change can happen. To effectively provide support, we must listen to the people who are already doing the work, rather than trying to start from scratch; make it easier for groups, government, and others to collaborate; and change our mindsets to think more long-term so that we can scale impact in ways that matter.
    • Through supporting educational programs like Pratham and its Teaching at the Right Level model, Co-Impact has seen how these collaborative strategies can be employed to successfully tackle a complex problem like child literacy.

    Become a data science pro with this Excel course

    This eight-course bundle is your deep dive into PivtotTables, Power Query, and so much more.

    • While traditionally considered boring, spreadsheets are one of the most powerful data analytics tools around.
    • Microsoft Excel has greatly expanded to become an essential visualization platform.
    • In an era in which data is king, this realm of data processing has never been so important.
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