Thursday, September 10, 2009

Required: An Educational Reform

President Barrack Obama in his congressional speech on health care compared the proposed plan with the current education system in the United States. There are private universities like Stanford, and Harvard offering top class education but at a high cost, while public universities like UC Berkeley, UT Austin, UA Tucson, UMass Amherst are offering good quality education at an affordable cost. Good analogy. The US higher education system is arguably the best in the world. But that does not mean that it is the best that could ever be achieved.

Felix Salmon has wrote a blog in Reuters on changing tuition fees. Currently the tuition fees stand at 60% of the US median income. I am talking about the undergrad education. College tuition fee has increased at the double the rate of US median income - which also means that college tuition fees are increasing almost as fast as health insurance premium does. What is more alarming is that in some public schools like University of Massachusetts, only 33% of the students who enroll in UG education graduate. From socio-economic standpoint, the US higher education needs some serious reforms.

Obama conveyed a message that he did not want any American to go to a state where there is a treatment for the disease but he/she cannot afford it. Nice vision. I think the same applies to education. After all, illiteracy is a disease.

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