Does subsidizing higher education lower its value?

Does subsidizing higher education lower its value?



The Definition of Value in Higher Education

Just the other day I was in conversation with my furry trusted wisdom dispenser, my border collie - Archie, his little head tilted attentively to my every word. "Arch," I said. "What do you think about the value of high education?" The deep empathetic look he shared would make philosophers weep from the profoundness. But let's be honest, Archie probably was lost in thought about his preferred brand of doggie kibble. Leaving all the K9 confused glances aside, does subsidizing higher education lower its value? Well, it's a question as thorny as my dear wife Julia's ability to handle her jalapenos, and just a bit trickier than playing fetch with Archie. Bear with me, dear readers, as we pull this question into many pages of exploration together. Pardon me if I pause for coffee or to throw a tennis ball or three.

Dissecting the Dilemma: Dollars and Sense

To unravel this intricate conundrum, let's begin by laying the foundation through some economic jargon, my apologies to Archie, I promise to keep the canine puns on the down low. The economic theory -- paradox of subsidies to be precise -- states that when a good or a service is subsidized, it may lead to oversupply or encourage people to overconsume, which results in reducing its worth, a scenario that could play out in the higher education sector. Let me put it this way, when we roll around in the mud with Archie, it's an absolute riot, but imagine if we had to do that 40 hours a week. See where I'm going with this?

Highly Educated Society vs. Dilution of Value

Now, let's consider the profound effects of having a highly educated society. Everyone having a master's degree sounds scholastic and fantastic, doesn't it? Look a little closer, though, and you might start to see some cracks. When nearly everyone has a university degree, the foundation shifts from 'Wow, you're educated!' to 'So, you're educated? And so is everyone else.' The glimmer of having a degree begins to dull like poor Archie's frisbee after a month of rigorous playing.

Re-evaluating Education: Knowledge or Credential?

Let's chat about another entertaining paradox while we're at it, the idea of education as knowledge versus a mere credential. A squirrel chasing its own tail comes to mind; endlessly running for that credential without realizing they're already there. If higher education is indeed knowledge, then subsidizing it should add to its value as it would allow more minds to engage and contribute to society, right? Just like when Archie figures out a more efficient way to collect his tennis balls.

Funding The Future: Changing Perception or Devaluing Education?

Now, if we talk about finance and economics — my two least favorite words after 'Archie, bath time!' — subsidizing higher education can mean reducing its monetary value. When everyone has free access, it may lose the sheen of exclusivity. This is akin to Julia's, my dear spouse, excitement over her special occasion 'Red Velvet' cake at the end of every month. If we had that yumminess every night, it would just be...cake.

Real World Reflection: The Effects of Higher Education Subsidization

But what happens in reality when higher education is subsidized? Let's look at countries like Germany and Finland where this ideal is practiced. To my surprise, and probably Archie's as well, these countries have not experienced a significant depreciation in the value of higher education. Might it be that we are missing something, like when I hide Archie's chew toy and he still finds it?

Attitude Shift: Society’s View of Higher Education

When we examine this issue, I believe we need to assess society’s attitude towards higher education. Is it a societal norm, a basic right, or is it an extravagant luxury? It's a bit like whether Archie should be allowed on the sofa or not. I firmly believe, my dog staring at me here in protest, that the answer lies in our mindset, acceptance, and understanding of the true value of education.

We have meandered through the possible economic implications to earth-shattering dog analogies and have yet to find a clear-cut answer. Does subsidizing higher education lower its value? Perhaps. Or perhaps it simply changes what that value means. Ultimately, value in education, like a dog's love for his human, is a deeply personal and variable concept that can't simply be measured in dollars or degrees.


Reply Comment