[iDC] The Aims of Education
anyaanya at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 20:05:50 UTC 2011
>>Costs and prices are both rising. My comments referred to the reasons
costs are rising. Jane Wellman of the Delta Cost Project has done the most
detailed work as to why.
>>the price of higher ed is actually pretty constant compared to other
things that use secure 1st world labor. It got more expensive relative to
things that became much, much cheaper because of lower labor costs and or
substitution of tech for labor power.
Actually the price of higher ed has risen even relative to the price of
health care, which is the closest related example of a service provided by
secure first world labor. And yes, my whole point is that it is more
expensive relative to other things people choose to spend their money on,
and that this makes it both more commodified and less desirable.
As for the factors you mentioned: labor costs have been lowered in higher ed
with the advent of adjuncts, but the savings have gone to the bottom line,
not the student.
And the substitution of technology for labor power is one of the things that
has been delayed but is happening and will happen in higher education
because many people would prefer to pay less for a similar service.
The assertion that higher education is a "good investment for most degrees
most of the time" varies by course of study, the quality and the cost of
one's degree. It has been so in the past but may not continue to be so in
the future. Whenever this point is raised I also feel compelled to mention
that there are 41 million people in this country with a bachelor's degree,
and 44 million people with some college and no degree. Most onetime college
students have realized little to no return.
On Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 2:42 PM, Philipp Schmidt <philipp at p2pu.org> wrote:
> On 8 September 2011 13:50, Ken Wark <warkk at newschool.edu> wrote:
> > Anya: I'd want to be a bit more cautious about cost-of-education
> > Firstly, pricing in American higher ed is all about discounts. The gap
> between sticker price and discount has been getting wider, so sticker price
> isn't all that helpful as a measure.
> > In the second place, the price of higher ed is actually pretty constant
> compared to other things that use secure 1st world labor. It got more
> expensive relative to things that became much, much cheaper because of lower
> labor costs and or substitution of tech for labor power.
> > In the third place, it is mostly still a good long term investment.
> Things like culinary school are in some cases not a good investment, but for
> most degrees most of the time, it pays off.
> Could you share some reliable data supporting the second and third claim?
> Most people argue the opposite -> price rising much faster than other
> goods/services, and long term benefits at best questionable.
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