Universities are revered institutions that seem to last for centuries. I believe that what makes them so special is the strong self-reinforcing feedback loop they have around them.
Famous universities are exceptional institutions in society. They are highly revered (one could say worshiped) and very long-lived (often centuries old). They are like bastions of the human endeavor.
I believe that a particularly strong self-reinforcing feedback loop is what makes them so special.
I have writen before that college is better understood as a club that offers a bundle of content, social experience, and badge. The feedback loop ties all these concepts together.
Here it is step-by-step:
There is more. The core feedback loop is made even stronger by two side loops.
The first side loop is based on the fact that alumni, old and new, help each other. They network and exchange professional opportunities. Exactly what you would expect in a club.
The second side loop relates to what universities do beyond undergraduate education. Their most relevant secondary activity is scientific research. Every famous university is home to dozens of research labs. Doing science and contributing to progress are great ways to raise any institution’s profile, and they sure do. Call this brand.
Here is the full diagram expanded with the two side loops:
Up next: What will render colleges obsolete?