They’re supposed to get critical thinking skills if they graduated. If they couldn’t get them, they’re likely to drop out before they graduate. I went to university and I saw all sorts of folks dropping out of college at all stages of the game, with many more dropping out at the four year level.
A university education is supposed to teach you critical thinking skills. That’s part of the whole idea of it. I guess you could graduate without learning those skills, but you either got lucky, or the university was not doing its job.
Is It Time for an Experiment?
I would wager that if you took groups of 1,000 university grads and 1,000 non university grads and compared them, the uni grads would have much higher critical thinking skills. Of course IQ could mask that.
Even better match the uni grads and non-uni grads on IQ or factor out IQ, and then test to see if there was an effect for a university education alone or if the higher critical thinking skills rate was just an artifact of a higher IQ in the first place.
Or take two groups at age 18, test for critical thinking skills, then test the same two groups ten years later after uni graduation for one part of the group and then compare for critical thinking skills again. Once again factor out IQ. This would tell us if the college grads already had critical thinking skills before university and uni had no effect on those skills or if their skills improved with uni education.