Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paid For Education Or Paid Education?

The answer to who pays for higher education depends largely on how society views the benefits. In the United States and Japan university education is viewed as a private good. In those countries student fees can be very high, and are paid either by the students themselves or by their parents and families. In most Euopean countries they believe higher education is a social good, like clean water or paved roads, so they make it free for everyone, paid for by high progressive taxes. For people from disadvantaged social backgrounds, who may be nervous about accumulating high levels of personal debt, this approach eliminates the risk factor. Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden currently do not charge any fees for university education. Germany even pays students a kind of rent for studying (Bafög). 

1 comment:

  1. Are there still various views in different societies about the benefits of higher education?
    Anyway, some historically strictly public goods have become private ones since the age of neoliberalism.
    Education has become more and more a question of economics, namely how to generate the maximum of the factor “human capital” by a minimum of costs.
    May be that the way of private paying isn´t the worst (if it is supported by moderate crediting).