Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Public higher education ‘dying in the US’, warns former Labor Secretary Robert Reich - Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education

Public higher education is “dying” in the US, with the pricing out of students from poorer backgrounds amounting to a “national tragedy in the making”, a leading academic has warned. Delivering the opening keynote of the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit, held at the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Reich said that sector leaders urgently needed to combat the notion that getting a degree was a private – not a public – good. While 70 per cent of US students are still educated in public universities, these institutions now face significant financial challenges, with Berkeley being no exception. “Public higher education is dying in the US,” Professor Reich said. “If we stay on the path we are now on, there will be very little difference between public institutions and private institutions in terms of their funding, or their cost structures, or their tuition [fees].”

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