In modern society a university education has formed the basis for social, economic, technological and cultural advancement. As such, it is an indespensible institution within the democratic State.CentralCaliBike said:Free college for all just means that those who do not wish to go to college end up paying for the college of those who do. You might not be aware, but public universities in the US are subsidized by the state. I happened to go to school in Arizona which paid for 80% of the costs of students that were residents of Arizona. I happen to agree with government subsidies for college (which basically does the same thing) but at least it weeds out some of those who are interested in college as a way of hanging out with their friends. I happen to still be paying for law school (19 years after graduation), and certainly would not turn down an offer for the government to pay it all for me. Somehow I was able to find a way to go grad school and survive with the costs.
For this reason, like healthcare in the European social-democratic system it is state funded at nearly 100% to gaurantee that it isn't the priveledge of an economic elite and that, therefore, all the classes have an equal opportunity to higher education. Anyone can enrol in whichever intitution they please, naturally it is up to them to produce work that is of the required level or else one fails out.
Since Europeans, consequently, are not treated as paying customers (the way they are for example in the US university system, which is run more like a big business as a result than an institution of of higher learning estranged from the corporate mentality), grade inflation (a serious problem in the US) doesn't exsist. And if a student doesn't produce good work, his prof won't think twice about failing him, whereas I can attest to the fact that pressure exists from the US university administration to not be too severe, to not fail too many students, because, after all, they are paying for it.
This is what I meant by my American students all too often confusing their mediocre work for excellence. Well, sooner or later, the poor quality of degree holding students coming out of these American institutions will surly lead to decadence within American culture itself (from my point of view it has alleady begun). And certianly here in Europe, were things are much more severe at the schools, the universities in general are producing better qualified degree holders. Whereas emerging nations like China and India are certainly not pampering their youth the way my students seem to have been since childhood. They are always looking for the easy way out, don't remain concentrated and focused for very long and always, always at the same time feel entitled to get the A.
It has gotten to the point where I begin to wonder what has happened to education in America. And it has nothing to do with the personal level. Like with any group of youths some are extremely likeable, while others are not. It is simply based on an objective analysis of their work.