Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Education Business

Visiting colleges with my daughter this summer has been an educational experience. It is clear that higher education in the US has become more and more of business, much like health care. While this change is happening in other countries - just note how aggressively they court foreign students who tend to pay higher fees - it is less so. The reason is that as in health care, the US is the only Western country in which higher education is so divided into private and public. Even Universities like Oxford and Cambridge, which American perceive as private, actually receive about one third of their funding from the Government. This enable the Government to exert much more influence over them than it can over a US private university. So the salaries of star academics, star administrators, and star fund-raisers continue to climb as do the fees.

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