Higher Education can make world peace closer through the amalgamation of two effects online higher education fosters: the betterment of individual lives and an appreciation for diversity.
It is a well known worldwide that the higher an education a person receives can correlate with an increase in salary. Higher education brings empowerment to individuals and the skills necessary to get a job or create a business to support one's family and earn a living. In general, when people have higher education, not only do they get a better job but they also can see a brighter career future and are unlikely to create disruptions to their future. In essence, people who have good jobs don't want a war; they want peace.
In a global world, it is diversity in the classroom itself that is an important lesson by itself. When people are exposed to other cultures and open their minds to differences, they are more able to accept cultural differences. The exposure to diversity inherent in online higher education provides the structure for people to accept other cultures, religions, or nationalities. University of the People is doing just that. UoPeople's online, tuition-free, and borderless education model attracts students from all over the world; to date, UoPeople has accepted students from 110 countries. For each subject, 20 students are likely to be with 20 students from 20 different countries in the same virtual classroom in order to heighten students' exposures to other cultures and enrich a global learning experience. Students participate in a virtual classroom composed of some students who might, outside the virtual classroom, be considered an enemy. Most come out after the virtual classroom experience with at the very least an understanding that the 'enemy' is usually not that much different from one's self. Being open and appreciating diversity in ways of thinking is probably the most important ingredient in helping the world move closer to a balanced peaceful state.
It is these two areas together; the betterment of individual opportunities and an appreciation for diversity that creates an environment conducive to the development of world peace. At UoPeople we are helping underprivileged and disadvantaged students to study in order to increase their job opportunities, while insisting that students from all backgrounds come together in virtual classrooms in order to gain exposure to global diversity. By creating the environment which helps both increase the stability of people's individual futures and assists people in appreciating diversity, higher education is playing its role in promoting world peace.
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