Wednesday, April 13, 2011

For-profit universities

Here is an interesting visual explanation of the problems inherent in for-profit (often online) colleges in the US. They get public money, but it goes to private profit, and their driving incentive doesn't have to be excellence in education or providing a service to strengthen our nation, but rather simply profit. This is particularly a propos, because here in Colombia the government is considering a reform of the higher education system, which in part would involve allowing for-profit universities (which are currently illegal) and making more public funds accessible to private universities. Of course such a move would be a further insult to our already-struggling higher education system in Colombia, and would be a good way to assure our continued mediocrity and poverty as a society. I don't know why people don't get this, whether in Colombia or in the US. When you ransack the public sector and public goods like education, it is a bad thing for the country as a whole. Even those who may profit in the short term will have to live in a crappier, poorer, more decadent country. What good is all the money in the world if your surroundings and your neighbors are all shitty, dangerous, and miserable?

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