posted on Aug, 8 2016 @ 08:57 AM
I think higher education has a few problems:
1. Government has stepped in to make it affordable which, of course, means that the colleges quickly priced their services into the government's
pocket and very quickly no one could afford college without government assistance. Very few have pockets deep enough to compete with government and
government never says, "Sorry, you are now too expensive for me." so there is no incentive for colleges to keep their costs low or stop hiking
2. Larded down degree programs and useless degree programs. Because everyone has their college paid for and just about as much college as they want
paid for, universities can afford to keep huge staffs full of faculty for every kind of academic minutiae acceptable, like underwater basket-weaving
(the old joke), but since they have them, they also have to justify them. So entire classes are added to degree programs as electives or degree
requirements and entire departments created with whole new degrees attached to them to justify those staff members salaries and very academic
existences beyond producing papers in obscure journals only read by others with their specific areas of academic minutiae. I myself have a class on my
own syllabus about obscure female playwrites in Elizabethan (and later period) England.
3. As a result of 1 and 2, too many kids can graduate with a ton of debt and a degree that isn't going to get them much more than a job as a barista
at Starbucks. There are simply too many degrees available that are either outright useless unless you are good enough to actually land a job as an
obscure academic in that field or could be useful but are so larded down with extraneous degree requirements that the amount of debt you pick up just
earning it will guarantee that you will never earn enough at that career in question to justify having taken it up.
IMO, there is nothing wrong with expecting a person to pay their way, but we need to stop the incestuous relationship between the government and the
institutions of higher education. Government, of course, has no problem with this. They get an extra indentured tax slave. Not only are people in
college debt paying them on the college debt, but they are also in it for taxes, too. Those people (and my husband is still one) are being doubly
screwed and my husband is in a STEM field with a respectable salary so we have some rate of return.
Degrees should be streamlined to their purpose. I understand that everyone likes the idea of education to be well rounded, but perhaps that should be
a degree option in its own right and not part of every degree program like it is now. I have also always thought that the purpose of our primary and
secondary public schooling was supposed to be to "provide a well-rounded education." Of course, I understand that we are also failing at that on many
levels, but that is a whole other discussion.