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The Importance of Higher Education

"Who pays" may also have a bearing on unit costs as well as on thesocial goals of expanded opportunity and equity. Efficiency andequity alone, for example, would suggest that users or beneficiaries-- in this case, students and, to a degree, their parents--shouldbear most of the costs of higher education, as they do in the privatesectors of, e.g., the United States, Japan, the Philippines, Korea,and much of South America, or as they do in those public sectors thathave begun covering a substantial portion (say, 20 to 40 percent) ofunit costs by tuition as in, e.g., the United States, Canada, orAustralia. The reasons are obvious and conventional. Therequirement to cover more nearly the full costs with tuition feesshould discourage waste and encourage a reallocation of resources tothe most productive uses. The reliance on tuition as a significantrevenue source also places a substantial share of the burden on thosewho benefit (and who are more likely to be affluent anyway) ratherthan on those general taxpayers who do not so directly benefit andwho are also likely to be from less-advantaged backgrounds.

 The main reason why people go to college is not because they want to but because they have to.

Having been a college textbook publisher in the “golden age” of American college education… through the early 70s, and having been a professional observer of the pan-academic dive into the abyss of narcissism led by the Ivy League, I think Professor Goldman’s analysis is superficial at best and dangerously misleading.

The Importance of Higher Education

The argument in the past was always over high school education, which is now mandatory.

Eicher, Jean-Claude, and Thierry Chevaillier. 1992. "Rethinkingthe Financing of Post- Compulsory Education," Higher Education inEurope, Vol. 17, No. 1:6-32.

The solution to the diverging trajectories of cost and revenues isgoing to have to come at least as much on the cost side. Highereducation must become more productive, through sectordifferentiation, more attention to the economies of scale, andrigorous cost control that constrains the natural inclinations ofhigher education always to do more and better, at more cost.

The Politics of Higher Educational Costs

The Rate of Increase of Costs Over Time: Higher Education'sInflationary Engine

For example, 67% say that there are still many ways to succeed in today's work world without a college education. Hispanic parents and African-American parents stress the importance of higher education in even higher numbers than white parents, or the population at large
(see Table 1).

Preparation for jobs and career is seen as the primary role for higher education, but the public also stresses the importance of general skills such as maturity and getting along with others.

"The disease has struck here, too," said Don Brown, Texas higher education commissioner.
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The Individual and Social Value of American Higher Education.

According to the university’s mission statement, the institution values, ‘Accessible and affordable quality education that equips students with intellectual and professional skills, ethical principles, and an international perspective.’ They accomplish this message by using vivid pictures of the students interacting within the Charlotte area and with each other....

Is Higher Education Worth the Price? Essay - 1523 Words

The costs of higher education may present problems less for theaggregate expendi-ture, or even for the unit costs at a point intime, than for the seemingly pervasive rate of increase of thosecosts over time. Unit costs, for example, tend to rise at ratesgenerally mirroring the rates of increase of wages and salaries ofthe faculty and staff, reflecting the general absence in highereducation (as in most of the service sector of the economy) of thekind of sustained productivity increases characteristic of thegoods-producing sectors of most national economies. Non-labor costspeculiar to the enterprise of higher education, such as libraryacquisitions and scientific equipment, tend also to rise at ratesthat are above the average of cost increases generally.

Is Higher Education Still Worth It

But this means that the unit costs of higher education -- assumingonly a "steady state" of teaching loads, student/staff ratios, andaccessibility of academic equipment--will tend always to rise atrates in excess of the average increase in costs: that is, fasterthan the rate of inflation. If the sheer volume of students ordegree programs or research expec-tations is also increasing, therate of increase of total expenditures, or at least the pressure forincreased expenditures, will rise inexorably and pervasively. Obviously, this means that the revenue sources, mainly from taxesand/or tuition fees, must rise at the same high rate as the costs --or else higher education must suffer cutbacks either in total numberof staff or in relative wage and salary increases or in capital andequipment.

Is Higher Education Even Worth It? | HuffPost

According to Erik Lowe in his Seattle Times article “Keep Washington’s College Tuition Affordable,” he informs that people in his generation are the first to be less educated than their parents, in the United States.

Education is worth the cost, ..

Because higher education in most countries is eithergovernmentally owned and operated, or at least publicly funded, orboth, its cost structure is usually subjected to the pressures anddistortions of politics and public sector management practices. While all nations are not alike, of course, nor are all institutionsalike in many countries, four common practices, or politicalphenomena, form a context in which higher educational efficiency andproductivity in most countries are severely tested:

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