Cost of a College Education

Dec 2011
4,449
Iowa USA
#71
You’re libeling my profession. But aside from that, I agree, but not just with respect to lawyers: most students are at university to benefit themselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is a great deal wrong with asking everyone else to pay for them to benefit themselves.
But, David, please be specific: is your profession The Law or is it "Man of Leisure"? ;)
 

Kirialax

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
4,624
Blachernai
#72
..... meanwhile you have students sitting there forever (its free so why bother) and doing mostly "politics" (trying to find new ways to spend other people's money since they themselves dont expect to earn any, anytime soon).....
I know that I'm taking this quote slightly out of context, but what sort of evidence do we have from countries were higher education is free/very cheap that there's a group of people who do this? How many of them are there? Are they really in school because they want to be there, or might other reasons like a lack of good employment elsewhere have an effect?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,943
#73
I know that I'm taking this quote slightly out of context, but what sort of evidence do we have from countries were higher education is free/very cheap that there's a group of people who do this? How many of them are there? Are they really in school because they want to be there, or might other reasons like a lack of good employment elsewhere have an effect?
Well its not always easy to find them as this category is not tracked, here are some indicative numbers

France: age group 25 to 29 still in university: 271 000 in 2015
Age group 30 to 34 still in university : 84 000 in 2015

(total students in France, about 2.5 mio... so the categories above represent about 15%)

Ces éternels étudiants qui assument leurs choix

For the age group 30-34, in France 1.8% are in university while in Finland its 11% and Germany 6%


Leisurely life of eternal student is under threat

at the Free University of Berlin, one student has been stretching the unpressurised system - there are no deadlines for completing a degree, and no tuition fees - to the limits.
The university said last week it has a male student on its books who has been studying for 92 semesters, the equivalent of 46 years, and is still going strong.
"He is already a pensioner and is almost older than the university itself," Uwe Nef, a university spokesman, said.


The spirit of the eternal student is everywhere in Germany. Last week, on a trip to the Free University, I met 26-year-old Hauke Heinrich Ritz, a charming young man who has so far notched up a paltry 12 semesters studying comparative literature.

Greece to drop 'eternal students'

Greece's new education minister says he wants to put an end to the problem of "eternal students" - tens of thousands of people who have been enrolled at university for years without graduating.
Loverdos says this could affect as many as 180,000 people, some of whom have been "studying" since the 1950s
The country's universities are highly politicised and frequently wracked by staff strikes and protests against government spending cuts.


Number of 'Eternal Students' in Greek Universities and Colleges Doubles | GreekReporter.com

The number of the so-called eternal students in Greek universities and technical colleges has doubled since 2003, while one in ten graduates migrates, according to Ministry of Education figures.

Regarding the number of eternal students — a unique Greek phenomenon — in 2003 there were 163,037 students who were remaining registered without showing any inclination to graduate. In 2014, their number was doubled (328,742), mainly due to the economic crisis, as education officials estimate.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,943
#74
These are minor issues, fairly easy to fix. The major issue is to guarantee that all, irrespective of wealth but according to merit, can have equal access to (higher) education. There are countries (most of European ones) that have excellent higher education, publicly funded and free of charge. I see no problem with private education co-existing with public one, even if that means that only the rich can afford the former. As long as there is a public, free one, it might even set the stage for healthy competition. The point is not to lower the standards or limit the number of people attending higher education, but quite the contrary. The more, the better. The higher and more qualitative, even better.

And don't bet that private universities are always better or more prestigious than public (free) ones. From my country's experience, diplomas from the domestic universities (public and free) are highly regarded, and it is considered a great failure not to pass the exams allowing attendance there. Those that have failed often go abroad (if they can afford it), but usually their first choice was a local university. Snobbing the latter beforehand, in favour of globally renowned universities like Oxford or Cambridge, concerns a minority that has very high ambitions and the financial means to back them up. However, since those that don't, and are dirt poor, can also have access to better education (in public unis) and therefore better jobs, there is no problem.
See my post #73 above....

Greece is especially it by the problem of "eternal students", so no its not a minor issue
 

Solidaire

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,408
Athens, Greece
#75
See my post #73 above....

Greece is especially it by the problem of "eternal students", so no its not a minor issue
Yes, the problem existed, however, a simple law (setting a maximum length of years to acquire the diploma) terminated it. That's why I said these problems are fairly easy to adress.

Incidentally, a lot of these 'eternal' students were people who simply abandoned their courses and did something else with their lives, omitting to inform the university about it and get erased from the list of students. Some of them were aged, and the fact that they were still registered in a university was just a bureaucratic detail with no real significance. Of course, there were some who indeed frequented universities without any rush to finish their courses, having other things as a priority...it's just that the problem was not as severe as the numbers suggested, and it was rather easy to solve.
 
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