Government Sponsored College Education

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Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby James » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:04 pm

Should a government fund college educations? To what extent?

This is something I've thought a lot about and here in the United States it typically falls under the 'social welfare', 'keep government out of our lives', or 'no more taxes' mantras for the Republican party, and sadly, I rarely hear members of the Democratic Party speaking of it.

I'm all for it, though. I cannot think of any better investment in a country's future.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby James » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:04 pm

And President Obama just unveil proposal for tuition-free community college, which upon first reading, in participating colleges, covers 3/4 of a two-year education federally and the remainder for participating states. I would thrill me for this to become a thing.

But if it's a feel-good talking point for the State of the Union Address with no tie to reality...
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:06 am

James wrote:And President Obama just unveil proposal for tuition-free community college, which upon first reading, in participating colleges, covers 3/4 of a two-year education federally and the remainder for participating states. I would thrill me for this to become a thing.

But if it's a feel-good talking point for the State of the Union Address with no tie to reality...


Agreed on all points and particulars!

The only caveat I would add is that I'm far more sceptical of this if it were applied to four-year colleges. I can certainly see the benefits, though - anything would be better than the new-car-a-year expenses of four-year institutions currently. Student debt is a major problem: the cost of entry into civilised society and the workforce that can actually pull down a living wage is, sadly, a six-figure red mark payable with interest (ultimately) to Uncle Sam. It's a scandal.

And yet, I somehow still feel like that same workforce is missing a number of skilled workmen and skilled tradesmen - the respectable faces of the working class and the petit bourgeoisie which once made up the democratic backbone of American society. We won't survive as such, if these are replaced by burger-flipping theoretical particle physicists and vapid, entitled, empty-headed frat boys (and girls) who inherited their fortunes from their harder-working forebears.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:03 pm

In the UK, we have tuition fees where universities charge a set amount, government pays it and you pay back from your wages once you earn a set amount (at a certain point, the government gives up). Unfortunately, it seems like 45% of said fees won't be paid back and I know people who rejected promotion or jobs as they would have have come under the need to start paying back.

I agree with the idea of ensuring everyone who qualifies for uni gets to go without crippling cost in principle, questions is how it is done. Tuition fees over here suggests that 1) recession, 2) people being jerks, 3) 50% of students going to uni suggests anything like that is not sustainable. If government pays, not much that can be done about 1 and 2 by education department but there might need to be a cap, or stringent qualifications, on how many go to University and how many go onto other things like technical colleges.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby Sun Fin » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:11 pm

I'm actually all for free university but I would like to see less people getting degrees. Culturally in Great Britain right now there seems to be an expectation that everyone should get a degree which devalues it to a certain extent. As WWD said I'd like to see greater emphasis put on trades and skilled labour so that for people who aren't naturally academic there is a positive and respected alternative.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby Boydie » Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:25 am

Here in Scotland you can go to uni for free with the Scottish Government picking up the tab. It's great and all but their is a problem with it. If you are Scottish or from the EU outside the UK you will get it for free, but if you're Welsh, English or from Northern Ireland then you'll have to pay the full amount yourself somehow. So much for equality eh?
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:10 am

I'm actually all for free university but I would like to see less people getting degrees. Culturally in Great Britain right now there seems to be an expectation that everyone should get a degree which devalues it to a certain extent. As WWD said I'd like to see greater emphasis put on trades and skilled labour so that for people who aren't naturally academic there is a positive and respected alternative.


This. This I agree with wholesale. My grandfather, who did not earn even his High School degree, was a genius. This man could build a porch within a day, work all day with no lunch and little breaks. He was a master with his hands, a true artisan.

In my mother's work, I see her other nurses putting acronym after acronym following their names. MSN, BSN, yada yada yada. It annoys me to no end. My mother does it because she is proud of her education (I do not attempt to dissuade her off of this. It is a good thing to be proud of). But, in my view. If you must make an introduction by putting so many letters after your name, then you're doing something wrong.

Because it isn't about the letters, not at all. It's about how well you do the job, and that should define you completely in the workplace and amongst your coworkers. No need for the acronyms. When your name comes up, it should be recognized as the reference to the person that can get the job done. Someone that everyone respects, because of the strength of their character.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby Bush Leagues » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:37 am

I don't have enough information to make an informed call on this, other than to say, in line with my general political philosophy, this is probably something that government should stay out of, and it would likely be better if that was the case (perhaps not in terms of empirical numbers, but that's not all that matters). Enough of that for now; any more and I'm just talking out of my you-know-what.

One thing that is apparently big in Europe that is rarely seen over here is apprenticeships, something I am a pretty big fan of. I think this is a greatly under-used way to get skilled workers in their field without having to go through the whole college thing. I don't have a degree, but I did take some college classes. I had a political science professor who refused to call the school (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) a university, because the classical meaning of a university was where people came to learn about many subjects that interested them - be it philosophy, theology, science, art, what-have-you. But now it's just, in his words, "a glorified trade school".

That's a bit tangential to the issue at hand in this thread, but I feel it would be a wonderful market solution (companies would offer apprenticeships, preferably) to an issue that most people agree is a problem.

Also tangential, I partly agree with FoxWithWings; sometimes the degree is pretty useless. I have a friend who's worked many minimum-wage jobs (CVS, Walgreens; typically as a cashier) and he always has a manager who's just out of college with a management degree - who inevitably can't manage to save their life. They fail to work with people's schedules, and do other things (I forget) that generally make working there harder rather than easier. Not in the sense that there's more work; more in the sense that things are difficult, or complicated, or convoluted, when they really don't need to be.

Similarly, my brother was in the army - 256th Infantry Division, and he was promoted to Specialist during his time (they offered him Sergeant a few times, but he was due to be discharged soon anyway, so he refused; unrelated note: he was the grenadier of his squad, so he got the bad-ass under-barrel grenade launcher). He was saying about how all these Lieutenants who are fresh out of Officer Candidacy School and the like are generally worse at leading than the squad Sergeant or Corporal. The experience and know-how of the lower ranking men trumped the technical knowledge and formal training of the LTs - at least in the field.

So while having a degree is great (my girl has one), and can definitely open up tons of opportunities, it's not the end-all be-all when it actually comes to being a useful member of your company, whatever it may be.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby SunXia » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:43 pm

In my mother's work, I see her other nurses putting acronym after acronym following their names. MSN, BSN, yada yada yada. It annoys me to no end. My mother does it because she is proud of her education (I do not attempt to dissuade her off of this. It is a good thing to be proud of). But, in my view. If you must make an introduction by putting so many letters after your name, then you're doing something wrong.
I am a tad confused are you saying it's ok for your mom to do it but not others to do it??

I'm fine with anyone getting a degree if they want to work for one, I don't think anyone knows what will happen to them so they have a right to do with their lives as they see fit and shouldn't be held back by class barriers or because their parents can't fit the bill.

I have a degree, I consider myself an intelligent person and everywhere I go people refer to my intelligence as one of my main qualities. Do I have the job I always wanted? No. Do I regret doing my degree? Never in a million years do I regret an opportunity to expand my level of education and to see what it takes to get to that higher level. But I didn't know, whilst attending uni, that my body was gradually getting sicker and sicker on the inside with a condition that nobody on this earth can cure. I didn't know that by mid-20s I would be on around 10 different types of medication a day just so I could barely work a 4 hour shift without needing to curl up in my bed and cry. Seriously, they spot checked my hand luggage going to London on Saturday and he said it was random. I simply smiled and replied "Don't be silly its the medication isn't it, its fine really" and he replied "Yeah its a lot for someone your age and we need to make sure its legal".

I work a minimum wage job, doesn't bother me, I know many people with my condition that don't work and I know I make man people happy everyday. Would I change that fact that I have a degree? Hell no, I worked for that and I am entitled to it just like anyone. And on that basis I wouldn't want to stop anyone from doing what they want to, nobody knows what the future holds and I'm not in favor of preventing someone from trying to follow their dreams because someone else wants to follow their dreams too and just because they held their nerves better on one day their dream should come first.
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Re: Government Sponsored College Education

Unread postby FoxWithWings » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:46 am

I am a tad confused are you saying it's ok for your mom to do it but not others to do it??


Not at all. They are free to do such a thing. Their lives are not mine to command. I just see it as rather... useless, I guess.

SunXia, you have every right in the world to be proud and celebrate your degree. Because disregarding everything I said before, while the acronyms may be useless, the education they (hopefully) came with is most certainly not. And education is almost never easy. Classes are not easy, the papers you must write for them are not easy, the studying and stressing is not easy.

If I came off as dismissive of other's education, including yours, then I apologize, this was not my intent. And extending off of what you said. You are very correct. Regardless of whether you have that degree or not, your reputation precedes you. People don't say "There goes SunXia, she has so-and-so degrees". They say "There goes SunXia, she's wicked smart."

My main point is, degrees don't really determine anything. Yes, they are an accomplishment, certainly, and something to be proud of. But they don't determine whether someone is good at something or not. Like the circumstance of Bush with the manager who cannot manage. One can have no degrees, and be the next Einstein. One may have their masters, and yet struggles to make it through the day-to-day grind.
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