It has been more than 15 years since I sat in a university classroom as a student. In that time, the cost of 4 years at the school I attended has increased from about $40k to over $70k. For this and other reasons (four offspring who may well wish to learn what universities used to offer) I am most interested in approaches which would slow down or reverse the cost of acquiring a degree after high school.
Texans are apparently not in agreement about how this might be done:
The stakes in a tug of war over higher education grew Wednesday, as the University of Texas at Austin’s largest academic division issued an uncompromising rebuttal to the market-driven approach favored by Gov. Rick Perry and some of his supporters.
The centerpiece of the movement, known as the “seven breakthrough solutions,” calls for treating students as “customers,” judging faculty by how many students they teach and how those students rate them, and de-emphasizing research that doesn’t produce an immediate financial return.
I don’t know about you, but to me this sounds like some fairly boilerplate business thinking. Nothing wrong with that at all.
Diehl said he and others are willing to talk about the issues. But the UT report was sharply critical of the proposed solutions, saying they “over-emphasize the student’s role as a ‘customer’ at the expense of the more vital role of ‘learner.’ … The higher education experience is not akin to shopping on iTunes or visiting Banana Republic.”
Remember, kids. Diehl is smarter than we are. It does not matter that we might wish to procure our higher education in the most efficient way possible (a la iTunes). We are simple learners.
He is the expert. Hear him roar.