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Friday, December 05, 2014

 

Education a Human Right?

I find it pretty troubling how little the United States values education compared to other first world countries. One of the many things of this concept that troubles me is the incredible lack of government aid compared to other countries (I'm talking about increasing accessibility, not necessarily financially) to encourage high school graduates with low incomes to go to universities. Universities seem a lot more interested in their financial profits than of their quality education and research, and this is certainly a huge problem.

The prices for tuition continue to go up in the United States for pretty much all universities and campuses, however what is really being done about this? Student loans with less interest isn't doing something about the problem. Why is it in some European countries - Germany, Sweden, and Norway for example - are willing to make education a lot more accessible for their people by imposing price limitations for universities to charge their students, while the United States does very little? It's pretty obvious to many foreign transfers (I have spoken to a few here at UCCS) that colleges in the United States are willing to put a substantial amount of money into unimportant things, sports for example, when there is absolutely zero educational value in sports at these universities.

Tuition rates have skyrocketed in the last twenty to thirty years because of the high, and continually rising, demand for upper education. Many universities need this money to grow and expand, build new buildings, housing, etc in order to accommodate the amount of students that get accepted to these universities. Though, a lot of these universities also build these buildings not only with tuition fees, but with supporter money and funding. That is why some buildings get named after these people that greatly contribute to making these buildings possible. So, with massive outside funding coming in (including state funding, take the future sport arena going to be built on Nevada for example), why do tuition fees continue to rise? Just to clarify, this type of behavior is directed toward all universities, not just UCCS. UCCS, compared to most universities, actually has lower than average tuition rates in the United States, but would be considered incredibly high for a lot of European countries.

Yes, lower interest rates help, but why are we even being charged interest on education that can benefit our country's workforce and research? We are still paying a lot more than we should on tuition alone before textbooks (some semesters I find myself spending up to $500 on books, and that doubles for hard science majors) and housing (some students need to live on or near campus and housing alone is almost half the price of one semester of tuition). Education should be considered a human right that should be much more accessible and encouraged, and not used to make massive amounts of money off of students seeking to better their lives.

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