Who else remembers Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”? The song that says to change the world means changing yourself. I remember. I loved Michael Jackson’s music as a young teenager. This has actually nothing to do with opening up higher education and stopping the gatekeeping of it so much, but when I was a high schooler that song really made an impact on me and how I saw the world.
I’ve always been in favor of higher education being open, and I want to “prove” that by choosing an open path for my degree! Why? Because I’ve always been a person that acts the way I teach. If it’s something I’m sick of, it’s people who teach from their own “mistakes” all the time. I mean, sure, sometimes it can be impactful to do so, but most of the time I would like to be someone who acts as I teach and not the reverse. So naturally, if I believe in an open higher education I would choose that path myself. It has nothing to do with not being able to be accepted into a regular university, it has more to do with me proving my own point! If I stand for something I will prove it and go that path myself. Just like if I say I’m a leftist I won’t vote for a conservative party! It is the same here.
I can most certainly get into a regular university, but even if I couldn’t, what does it matter really? Most people at university are adult human beings, and should take responsibility if they fit into higher education and that’s my main point of making it more mainstream to have open options. Some people say that universities need to have certain criteria and you have to prove you’re capable of learning in that environment. I don’t agree. I think it’s our own responsibility to figure out if our level of understanding is “good enough” and go from there. There are many reasons why one might not have a high school diploma but still might be suited for university. In my case, it had to do with disabilities, autism, and a lack of motivation studying at high school and that environment, even though I was fully capable of taking in information! That’s why I naturally chose distance learning over on-campus learning as well, which is something you can actually get more easily in universities than in high school. In the end, we should be treated as adults in university and not like children who have to be “tested” if we fit. We should be trusted that we are.
That’s the main reason why I chose The Open University over other options.
Edit: I forgot to mention that I actually have an equivalent of a high school diploma and that unlocked my further education, but I still think anybody who feels like they can manage university should have access to it!