University without exams


I already posted The kids are alright and they're catching on the other day after a random conversation with my son. He went first to college, then to university after working for a year, without a single school exam to his name. He had in the meantime acquired some Microsoft qualifications in his spare time.

He was the webmaster of a national charity at the age of 9, and the volunteer webmaster for an MSP by the age of 13. He did try school for a short time but found it "mind numbing" and was not popular for "speaking to teachers as if he was an equal". Leading a walk out over the Iraq invasion and going on the radio to talk about it rather sealed his fate. His dad laughed out loud at the physics teacher who declared D would end up on the dole as he couldn't accept authority. The teacher is still there in his dead end job while D excels at everything he does, including holding down a highly paid p/t job while finishing his degree in network security / ethical hacking.

He was accepted at the local college at the age of 15 on the basis of an interview as he had no formal qualifications apart from self studied Microsoft modules. His college experience was very different from school and in his first term, he was taken out of a class and asked how he always scored 100% in maths and how he knew so much about computers. He just replied: "I was educated autonomously". He was indeed. :)

I have posted this with his permission (he is not known for his modesty) but I would have to ask permission before posting anything about his sister's equally positive experience of gaining entry to a prestigious university without school qualifications.

Contrary to what the establishment would have people believe, my children are far from alone or "special" (not that universities are the be all and end all). If the truth be told, I am far more impressed by those young people who have succeeded against all the odds (including special needs, disability and abject poverty) to blaze their personal trails than any of their more "privileged" contemporaries.

Higher education is mostly about money these days and it doesn't necessarily offer good value - or any value at all in some cases. There are many other interesting ways to spend three or four years of your young life and I'm sure we'll be hearing about them in this thread :D