So, what kind of educational system does your society use? Do apprentices train in a particular trade before graduating to journeyman or master level? Does a child learn the profession of its parents? Do churches or religious institutions educate the children, and if so, do they educate all children, or just the religious or wealthy ones? Are there colleges and universities for advanced studies? Do students learn in a virtual reality world, and if so, do they have the same kinds of conflicts they might encounter anywhere else?I'm going to stick with The Union, since that's the political faction that the campaign (mostly) centers around. It's certainly from where most characters will be haling from. The Union is an amalgamation of member worlds, so each world may have it's own education path for its citizens. I get the feeling that the Union as a whole has a sort of standardized testing. You have to have an education from an accredited Union Academy to conduct interstellar business, work on a planet other than your own, or hold office on anything more than a planetary level. You could get around this by joining the military; anyone who wants to join The Union military is taught facts and ideas that are to be memorized. The military does it's best to create "good little soldiers" who are loyal to the ideals of the Union and are not taught to question orders or let luxuries like "morals" get in the way of them.
I'm not sure how feasible this is, though. With 19 worlds of resources to try and manage, could the union really afford to enforce such an education requirement? Probably not, meaning that on several worlds the manufacturing, mining, and farming operations are all going to be trade-based apprenticeships. Those trades form guilds which operate within the Union; likely by having guildmasters or trade-councils that are Union educated and can navigate the Union's red tape to get the best deals they can for their workers. Without such an education, the Union could walk all over them. Given that, it seems more likely that the Union would discourage higher education from certain worlds while requiring it in others.
I think I'll settle for something in the middle; a Union education is going to be a proverbial golden-ticket to riches for anyone within the Union, but it's going to be difficult to obtain. Only the wealthy can afford it, or it could be obtained through scholarships to individuals who show some exceptional ability in a field the Union needs. A formal education is also a reward for anyone who joins the Union Military (like the G.I. Bill); serve a specific number of years and you will get a full scholarship to a Union Academy. How many years? Probably something high like 8 or 10 years. Maybe even longer; it is a full scholarship after all!
Yeah; the Union is getting more and more dirty by the day...