Two great articles on higher ed:
Are Universities Worth It? (Forbes Magazine)
An article about the cost crisis in higher education. With costs of university tuition skyrocketing, it’s perhaps not surprising that Forbes would kick off the new academic year with an editorial on the costs of attending college. “How do we pay for college?” This question is torching it’s way through the minds of thousands of parents across the country (and, for that matter, the world). Johnson’s take is interesting; he provides a thumbnail sketch of the history of the university (HINT: IT STARTED IN ANCIENT GREECE), and offers what seems to be a slightly right-of-center editorial take on whether the costs of higher ed are starting to outweigh the benefits.
His point, buried in the second page, is a thought-provoking one: “Indeed, the study of universities and the great men and women who have attended them leads me to think that the best of these schools are characterized not so much by what they teach and how they teach it but by the extent they provide opportunities and encouragement for students to teach themselves.”
The Trouble With Global Education (Newsweek)
Also interesting is Newsweek’s piece (by Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreyfus) on the increasing trend towards globalization in the university. The argument here seems to be a protectionist one; it hones in on Iowa, where Hacker and Dreyfus claim that local students are being squeezed out of the University of Iowa by foreign students.
I don’t happen to agree. I think that a global education environment must be open to the best students, regardless of nationality. Still, Hacker and Dreyfus are compelling writers, and their recently-released book, Higher Education: How Colleges are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids — And What We Can Do About It, is certainly a readable polemic.