So when people champion not going to university, I am usually the first to suggest they think again. But, as time has passed, I have reconsidered the value of university, at least to all people. I am not alone! American billionaire Peter Thiel has set aside $100k for 20 students under 20 years of age who promise NOT to go to university but instead set up businesses. He believes that university is of no real value to many young people and think that their education and development would be better served by capitalising them early in life as entrepreneurs.
When I think about my own kids, I am definitely not going to foist university upon them. Indeed I am going to tell them, at 18, that they have a choice: I pay their fees or I invest in their new business. I would love my kids to be entrepreneurs as I too have found that this teaches you both practical skills, resilience and allows you to learn about other people and your own character. I think entrepreneurship is incredibly under-valued in our country in favour of professions most people in them privately crave to escape from and stick with purely for the money.
When I think about myself, I actually think university was the right track. I needed the adrenaline-rush of ideas, bright people and new environment that swept me out of a very monochrome world. But I see Thiel's point and sympathise with his programme. Enterprise is perhaps the best form of Higher Education yet invented.