I have heard, recently, that there are those who question the need for - the validity of - Higher Education. There's this rising tide of people who insist that Technical Schools, where the matriculation is of shorter duration and more focused in curricula, are better able to prepare our young for entrance into "the job market", and Life in general.
The University of Pennsylvania recently released the results of a study regarding the use of T Cells to treat certain types of leukemia. It was a three year study to determine the efficacy of the novel immune therapy with which they had enjoyed some early success. They needed to know whether or not it was a fluke.
As it turned out, the study indicates success. Their immune therapy regimen works. I am given to understand that the same type of therapy has worked against metastatic melanoma.
The thing is, the development work and the study work had to have been done by students, working under the direction of their Profs and TAs and Post Docs. Students did the grunt work. Some were paid to intern in the labs. Others worked the labs for extra credit. None of their names appear "in the credits", but without those students, the work would have either not progressed or the progression would have been excruciatingly slow.
The work those students did - those nameless, unacknowledged minions doing grunt work in the labs - saved lives - and saved them sooner than could have been possible without their efforts.
Higher Education not worth it? Presence on the campus of a University or College not necessary?
Ask one of the people who are alive, today, because their leukemia or melanoma is in remission. That number is small, today, but it will grow every day as this new treatment paradigm is better understood, and developed to encompass other forms of cancer, and maybe, someday, all cancers will fall to this treatment.
Thanks to those students who did NOT go to a Technical School to shorten up the time it would take for them to become "Work Force Ready". Besides, the social implications of a dichotomous education system speak to a system of Haves and Have-nots - and aren't we all against that in the first place?