Saturday, October 14, 2006

Education Spending on Three Continents

Why does the US have the best universities and colleges in the world? One big reason is that we spend more on them than anybody else.

via The Economist


al fin said...

Allow me to be a contrarian and point out that the US spends more on all levels of education--but is by no means the best at all levels.

Corrupt and ineffectual institutions can waste more money than taxpayers are willing to spend. The problem are not with money--other than with high money disciplines like medicine, physics, engineering, computer science, etc.

It does not cost a lot of money to indoctrinate someone into leftist radical feminism or radical deconstructivism. Most college and university graduates in the US are not adding anything to the overall economy--just taking up space. That also applies to most tenured university professors.

So give credit where credit is due. Don't spread the credit so thin that it's given to the many university departments that yield negative dividends to society overall.

mping said...


You make a good point that higher education spending at the primary and secondary level in the US isn't leading to better results.

I think that there are other important reasons why the US is so good at the university level. The Economist had a survey on Higher Education that had a lot of good points. The competition and choice for students and professors is a crucial part of it.

But, I think that the additional spending is an important part as well. It allows you to attract the best professors and pay them well.

As for which departments add value to society, I can't say that I am smart enough to make that judgement. Coming from a liberal arts background, I think the important thing is that college teaches you how to critically think and express yourself. The actual subject matter isn't all that important. If you can be a medieval history and philosophy major and end up being the CEO of HP, who am I to say which majors are valuable and which ones are just taking up space?

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