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I think that what is needed to improve the higher education system is to change some of the perverse incentives that are currently leading to the problems.

For example, there are few incentives for universities to care about the undergraduate experience at their institutions. Professors and TAs are often hired for completely different reasons than how good they are at teaching. When I was studying engineering, it was not uncommon for me to have a TA in a course that knew less about the subject than I did.