Higher education is on an insane treadmill in which the product gets worse and worse while the cost, subsidized by the government, gets increasingly outrageous. From Bruce Abramson at realclearwire.co
On February 28th, the Supreme Court heard arguments on President Biden’s plan to extinguish an estimated $400 billion in student debt. Biden deserves credit for highlighting a debilitating federal program in desperate need of reform. His proposal, however, would make the problem far worse, not better. Any serious reform would force academic institutions to take some responsibility for the education they provide—and to show some responsibility to the many young Americans they induce to go deeply into debt.
The problems run deep. American higher education has become a hollow bubble of an industry coasting on brand equity and past glory.
Notwithstanding pockets of world-class excellence, the industry does little well. Universities are top-heavy and inefficient. Their complex products bundle education, research, and campus life for many students who need—and can afford—only the first of the three. On campus, classrooms teach neither critical thinking nor employable skills. The return on research dollars is pitiful. Antisemitism and segregation thrive at levels unseen elsewhere in American society. Internal procedures fail to provide due process or equal protection.
American academia is a sham suffering from disastrously flawed structures and incentive systems.