Sunday, October 27, 2013



The  Geneva Business Insider ("GBI") is now just over two years old.

Over the past two years I have been interviewed by many talented and well informed people on TV, Internet TV, talk shows, radio shows etc. and learned a great deal in the process.

Today I am taking the GBI in a new direction and commencing interviewing invited guests on subjects of particular interest. I will however continue with my regular appearances on existing media shows.

In general the previous discussions have been around finance, economics geopolitics and business.

Today's discussion is all about University Education and the Education Industrial complex which has sprung up around it over recent years. As a concerned father with a daughter preparing university applications as I write, I shared my concerns with today's guest whose daughter has just started university this semester.

My guest is John Hancock, a Canadian national, a well known economist with a history degree from Cambridge, and currently advisor to the Director General of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

By way of background, the cost of university education is reaching record highs, the number of students obtaining degrees and unable to find work is soaring, student debt is sky rocketing with no end in sight.

We discuss what value added if any is created by the universities, which universities have a real future and why, and the alternative higher education solutions that are springing up.

We examine above all the fact that the personality, interpersonal skills, character and work ethic of student plays a more important role in his  own future development than any university produced high cost piece of paper.

The you tube link interview in two parts can be found below:

Part 1:

Part 2:


  1. I am 67 and 95% of my learning has been acquired after finishing my university education. In my experience then, it is wiser initially to concentrate on discovering your gifts or talents -- those things in which you naturally excel. The universities imply this is your one chance to prepare, but studying for a degree for its own sake and without knowing your gifts (natural advantages) is a waste of time and ,money and possibly life threatening if it is acquired through debt. On the other hand, when you have vision and passion for some endeavor, paying for education in a field of work where you have already shown some prowess is money well spent . If you start with talent in some good thing, cream will rise to the top.

  2. Well said Philip. Of the same age, I chose to forgo university education and detested formal education my first week. I was in my late 20s before I discovered Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich", a book which should be read early in high school. But that would be a parental responsibility and how many parents then or now had/have heard of this book?