Business, Economics and Jobs

Richard Branson slams the university system


Steve Clemons (L), Editor at Large of The Atlantic, hosts the discussion with Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson (C) and Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann on the need for greater momentum and political debate to end the failed war on drugs on March 15, 2012, during a discussion at The Atlantic magazine headquarters in Washington, DC. Branson's involvement with the Global Commission on Drug Policy has brought new levels of attention to the growing movement to end the 40-year-old war on drugs. His latest crusade is aimed at higher education.


Paul J. Richards

Richard Branson's latest crusade is reforming the university system around the world.

The Virgin CEO, who dropped out of high school at age 16, spoke out on his blog:

All over the world, university students are ratching up thousands of dollars/pounds/pesos worth of debts, completely unnecessarily. Lengthy university courses are set more for the convenience of the professors rather than the students and yet the students end up paying for them. Here in Chile, seven year courses are not uncommon and the debts that the students accumulate for their courses are real debts unlike in other countries. So if a student cannot afford to repay their student loans, it destroys their credit ratings and their ability to get mortgages, etc. There needs to be an urgent rethink in all countries around the globe. Courses for most subjects need to be slashed in half so that students can get out into the real world quicker with less debt and the ability to start earning.

The fun-loving billionaire has proved persistent in past crusades, like his war on the war on drugs. We wish him luck tackling this one.

Meet more of the world's most successful dropouts >

And watch our interview with Richard Branson to find out the one thing that he credits for his success:

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