Across the world, students are demanding free higher, university level education.
Here is my question:
The thing with ‘free’ eduction though, is that someone still has to pay. If the student or their family does not foot the bill, someone else has to pay for the lecturers, books, buildings, electricity and the like.
The someone, in this case, is the state.
If the state (and the taxpayers by association, since the state if funded by taxpayers) pays for their education, should the state then not have the right to decide what they study?
Should the state not have the right to offer free education, but only for degrees for which there is a demand for new graduates?
After all, the logical (not the emotional ‘fairness’ ideology which I will ignore for now) argument for ‘free’ education is that a better educated population equals a better, more productive workforce, which in turn equals a better economy, which in turn benefits the benefactors of the free education; the state and the tax payers.
The issue is, what happens when most of the students who hope to be recipients of this policy decide they want to study art history and basic psychology?
After all, a three year Bachelor of Arts degree seems like so much more ‘fun’ than a lengthy medical or engineering programme.
But how many arts graduates does an economy really need? Does a surplus arts grad increase their own employability, or add value to the economy that sponsored their indulgence?
Surely, if raging baby boomer tax payers have to pay for student education, they should get something out of the deal too; doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, etc.
Somehow I don’t think the student protestors will go for this logic though.
They want the free education – without any strings attached. Why should they have to pay back any sort of debt to scociety?