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Response to shanny (Reply #104)

Wed Feb 20, 2019, 01:37 AM

122. As an insider in academia ...

... I feel competent to offer my opinion that college is, by and large, a racket. It is marketed as the sine qua non to material and social success, and is priced accordingly. Despite the pretense to ivory tower altruism, higher education is a business, pure and simple, and a rather rapacious one at that.

The truth is other advanced nations provide for higher education, just as they--and we--do for education through high school. Is there a fundamental difference I am not seeing?

The difference in my experience -- which derives mainly from living and teaching in Japan for eight years -- is that other advanced nations provide free higher education to a much smaller group of competitively selected students. Those that don't qualify as university material are channelled into vocational education. I see the American system, on the other hand, as plagued by a kind of false egalitarianism that holds out the promise of a bachelor's degree for everyone but poisons it with huge debt burdens and an educational experience that increasingly lacks rigor.

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