Sunday, April 15, 2007

More = Less

They're having the same problems in English universities that we are apparently. Even ten years ago, there weren't that many people going to university; now, at least 40 percent of the populace attends, and that percentage is expected to keep rising. The end result? Elite universities that are much harder to get into and still offer a decent education, and populist universities, like my own, that charge high prices for an education that is barely above a high school level. Jeff Randall writes- ''But at the bottom end, it's hard not conclude that a fraud is being perpetrated on many young people, usually from disadvantaged homes with no family history of higher education. They are being hoodwinked into universities that are not much more than overblown technical colleges.'' The university degree is becoming a vanity purchase.


Hiromi said...

I'm not sure if it's a vanity purchase -- I think many people would rather not bother. But for whatever reason, a four-year degree is seen as a requirement for white collar jobs, or for advancement. I have no idea why. I don't think it's a conspiracy to keep poor people from upward mobility, but I think it has that effect.

Rufus said...

Oh, absolutely! Not only is it seen that way, but a lot more decent jobs require a college degree now than used to, partially because people come out of High School so ill-prepared for the work world. I mean, nobody can explain to me why a Budget Rent-a-Car manager needs a college degree, but so it is! The end result of this is that we end up spending the university years teaching high school skills, which is okay for us, but means that people are paying a fortune to get a high school education.