Value of Higher Education - Andy Liu
By Andy Liu on Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Re: Is our students learning? by Margaret Wente (referencing the U.S. book “Academically Adrift”), published in the Globe and Mail on June 16, 2011:
[Many] of the observation[s] made in the article are probably true, but these are the symptoms of the malaise that university education has become an investment. Stripped of their ideals, some faculty members can become disillusioned with the process. Students will recognize that university education is not a very cost-effective way of helping them to make money. They can do better to go to a trade school, or quit school altogether and sell used cars. (There seem to be lots of "role models" here, including former prime ministers, former premiers and former hockey tycoons.) However, "successful" people do not seem to lead happier lives. The important lesson is that we educate ourselves not to learn how to make money, but to learn how to spend it properly.
Andy Liu, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Alberta, and 3M National Teaching Fellow.
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