Education

Higher-Education Crackup: "Colleges are hotbeds of racism and rape that everyone should be able to attend."

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Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, has a sharp USA Today column about the declining popularity of college. Snippets:

Even fancy schools such as Harvard and Dartmouth have seen applications decline, with Dartmouth's dropping 14% last year, a truly staggering number.

It's no picnic for public institutions either. "There have been 21 downgrades of public colleges and universities this year but no upgrades," reported Inside Higher EdIt's gotten so bad that schools are even closing their gender studies centers, a once-sacrosanct kind of spending.

The decline in enrollment seems to be slowing, but the long-term problem remains: With costs growing, and post-graduation incomes stagnant or worse, students (and parents) are growing more reluctant to take on the extensive debt that is required to attend many private, and some public, institutions.

That is only made worse by the decline in higher education's image, damage that is mostly self-inflicted. As Twitter wag IowaHawk japes: "If I understand college administrators correctly, colleges are hotbeds of racism and rape that everyone should be able to attend."…

From the economics to the politics, colleges and universities are looking less like serious places to improve one's mind and one's prospects, and more like expensive islands of frivolity and, sometimes, viciousness. And that is likely to have consequences.

Industries with bad reputations face declining markets and more regulation. At this rate, that's where higher education is headed. It's not clear at all that its leaders appreciate the depth of the problem.

Read the whole thing.

Reynolds teaches law at University of Tennessee, so he understands the problem from within the asylum's walls.

The April 2013 issue of Reason featured a symposium with Reynolds, me, and many others discussing "Where Higher Education Went Wrong" and how it might get its groove back. My two cents:

You should be going to college to have your mind blown by new ideas (read: whole fields of knowledge that you didn't know existed until you got to college), to discover your intellectual passions, and to figure out what sorts of experiences you might want to pursue over the next 70 or so years….

None of [even the best colleges] will survive the notion that they exist mostly to serve 18- to 21-year-olds kids who need high-paying jobs rather than limn the outer edges of intellectual possibilities.

Read the whole symposium.

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  1. It’s gotten so bad that schools are even closing their gender studies centers, a once-sacrosanct kind of spending.

    This will be the downfall of society.

    1. The fact that they existed at all was the trigger of societal downfall.

  2. That is only made worse by the decline in higher education’s image, damage that is mostly self-inflicted. As Twitter wag IowaHawk japes: “If I understand college administrators correctly, colleges are hotbeds of racism and rape that everyone should be able to attend.”

    Well played, sir! Well played indeed!

  3. Only college administrators could be insane enough to think “we have a campus rape problem” is a good way to market their institutions.

    1. I wonder if any of it is coming down to them from the Department of Education.

      Dept. of Education: Good morning Any College, USA. You have a rape problem on your campus. What are you going to do about it?

      Any Collge, USA: Rape problem? This is the first we’ve heard of it. Do you have any evidence of this so-called ‘rape problem’?

      Department of Education: Evidence? Why, yes we have it right here – would you like to keep receiving $XXX millions in Federal grants and preferred tax treatment?

      Any College, USA: Holy Cow you are right, look at the rape problem we have!

      1. I am sure there is some of that and coming from the bottom as well from their insane staff and their troglodyte student followers.

  4. The Robots are coming
    The Robots are coming
    The Robots are coming

    ——————-

    I went two months ago to do some recuitment in SUNY, CUNY, Columbia, NYU, and my school Rutgers.

    Lots of smart kids out there eager to come in and work.
    What the entry level salary for Wall St. Developers and Business Analysts is still pretty high compared to practically every other industry outside of Google.

    Good luck to these kids. For once I’m glad I’m 50years old and lived during our golden age. I hope it comes back.

  5. It’s gotten so bad that schools are even closing their gender studies centers, a once-sacrosanct kind of spending.

    I’m fine, really. I- I just have something in my eye.

  6. The decline in enrollment seems to be slowing, but the long-term problem remains: With costs growing, and post-graduation incomes stagnant or worse, students (and parents) are growing more reluctant to take on the extensive debt that is required to attend many private, and some public, institutions.

    What about this: schools such as my alma mater have been engaged in an arms-race frenzy of spending on nonessential frippery such as “health club” facilities which would make any Santa Barbara kept woman weep with envy.

    If I were unfortunate enough to be the proud owner of a college age kid, and traipsing around the country looking at schools costing in the near neighborhood of 50k/yr, I would be pointedly asking, “And just what the fuck does any of that have to do with providing the best education possible?”

    Never mind all that preposterous hogwash about welcoming free and open inquiry, provided it doesn’t offend anybody, or cause them to challenge their bedrock assumptions about the world.

    1. Every time someone tells me how “state schools are seeing their funds cut” I want to barf. Maybe they need their funds cut along with a whole hell of a lot more spending cuts to go with it.

  7. What happens when you take $100K to skip college

    Last May, Brentwood native Mark Daniel was awarded $100,000 to drop out of college and focus on building his startup company.

    As a Thiel Fellow, he left Babson College in Massachusetts at age 19, moved to San Francisco and began working full-time on his employee communication product, StatusHawk. A year later, he has learned just how difficult launching a company is, but is more determined than ever to pursue his dreams of entrepreneurship.

    Meet the 2014 Thiel Fellowship Finalists

    20 winners. $100,000 each. The chance to bring an idea to life. We follow 40 student finalists as they compete for a coveted and controversial Thiel Fellowship. Their projects range from cancer research to new app technology, but there’s just one catch if they win?they’ll have to drop out of school.

  8. It is really sad you know. Education is not what it used to be. Now it is all about crimes, drinking fun and so on and so forth. Remember how it used to be? People actually cared, students were spending sleepless nights working on their essays. Now students always look for help at this website. I can’t wait to see things going back to normal. Students are getting really messy and carless about their education level

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