I believe this is a global problem. Higher education is essentially stuck in place from about 50 years ago everywhere. And everywhere it is nearly impossible to start a new college.
Germany does have better outcomes than the US in higher education, but their system is still not ideal. They’re educational system is extremely inefficient with people taking 6–10 years of higher education to get the skills they need to succeed in their career. It is free, so there isn’t as much pain and suffering around it, but it could be better. And using a plan that promotes new colleges, I believe, would be the most successful and easy to implement plan.
Employers do have a role to play. However, in my pretty voluminous experience, employers are terrible educators, and even worse at growing people as people. Employers generally just fire people who aren’t already a perfect fit for their job, whereas schools transform people. Its really a different approach.
I believe the best option is for various people inside of colleges to reach out and keep up direct relationships with various people inside of industry. Then the educators can use those connections to improve and build out better curriculum and other programs (e.g. career services, clubs, etc).
We do this everyday at Make School, and I have no doubt that any new college would do this because creating and maintaining these relationships is free, interesting, and extremely effective in improving the education and the students’ outcomes.