Million student march demands tuition free public college

From time to time, someone from Europe tells me about how they do things over there.  The European model is basically no tuition, but you only get to go if you’re one of the best students who’s proven that you can succeed in your major (because after all you’re asking society to make an investment in you).  This does sound like a superior system to me; the incentives are better.  The American system is for universities to enrich themselves by convincing as many dumb kids as possible to enroll, attract government funds, pile on debt, and then drop out.  Thus our self-created “retention problem”.  The US has a preposterously high tertiary school enrollment rate; I’d guess that any student spending his time protesting shouldn’t have been admitted in the first place.  True, our students are more free to make foolish choices to enroll in programs they can’t complete or won’t help them, but I see no value in such a freedom.  Plus we deliberately attract dumb students with silly course offerings and elaborate amenities, so bad decisions are not only allowed but encouraged.   American higher education has a great reputation because of its research programs (although even there, it’s been pointed out that revolutions in science have significantly slowed down since America displaced Europe), but considered as an education system it doesn’t make much sense.

5 Responses

  1. I visited Ithaca College recently. I was appalled at the opulence of the gymnasium.

  2. While I agree that the community has some responsibility to make sure its “best and brightest” are well-educated, particularly its STEM students, the current “higher education” system in this country has been corrupted beyond redemption by federal money.

    The result has been to further divide the serfs and their owners.

    1.Huge salaries for the tenured plus
    2.Future indebtedness laid on taxpayers by promissory notes known as the university (state) pension system.
    3.The big business of college textbooks and their kickback system is another medieval corruption
    4.Student “loans” are obscene at best, deeply immoral shackles at worst.
    5. Resistance to change by the vastly over paid “presidents” (hired for their ability to fund-raise) is another obscenity.
    6. The major professional sports teams ought to go straight and begin setting up their own farm teams instead of using the convenient “academic” cut-out as their training grounds. This would serve to take down the drug-feuled, testosterone-driven sports cult currently in place at colleges.

    Here is University of Virginia’s highest paid:

    The highest paid non-academic position is the CEO of the Medical Center, R. Edward Howell, who makes $618,000. University President Teresa Sullivan received the second largest amount, earning $485,000.

    That is unadulterated bureaucratic bloat.

    I know college grads, English and History majors, who work part-time at car washes and “hospitality” services.

    There are few real colleges left. The ones calling themselves “universities” – if they receive federal funding – are nothing more than grease factories…which is a main factor in the development of thin-skinned, delusional, sullen “students” who have no idea of the depths of their own ignorance.

    Here’s a real college. No federal funding.

  3. […] from Bonald, problem #4,126 with America’s tertiary education system. And… More on pseudonymity. tl;dr? “Hell, […]

  4. This is a good reminder why not to frame everything as “left-wing Europe vs. right-wing America”. Europe does a few things correctly. Even crazy sometimes becomes correct. You see, Austria came up with the crazy that tertiary education is a human right, so neither tutition nor the usual Euro kind of pre-filtering (high school grades or entry exam): every warm body welcome. However, professors are not crazy, so they have simply wrote the exams so difficult that if 5% pass that is considered the easy one: they do this filtering in-house. But as this is the most job-relevant type of filter, Austrians students become fairly good at their fields.

    But it has its own price.As a result of many failed exams, it is common to graduate at 32. As this result, as women typically want to have a foothold in their jobs,3 years of experience before giving birth because nobody will give a job to a mother without job experience, so that they have a chance to return to work, they will have their first birth at 36 and that means demographics sucks and in the future everybody will be kebab. So in its own way, I guess it is still crazy. Just not from the academic angle.

    Although a few years ago Austrian students still somehow had the time to occupy the main auditorium and whip out the crazy, like, demand free education to all illegal immigrants, including bringing them up to speed in language. Clearly those exams are not hard enough if they have time for this, onward to 99% fail rate! 🙂

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