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The Future of Western Style Education

Popularity 8Viewed 6089 times 2014-5-17 09:28 |Personal category:Quote Me|System category:Life| The, future, western, style, education

"Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt they can't afford the time to think. Tuition fee increases are a disciplinary technique, and by the time the students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the disciplinarian culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy."

- Noam Chomky

This is a very serious issue for student in western countries cannot afford the extremely high costs of tuition, and living costs during the 4 years of university education. In many cases it is expected to be as high as $120,000/- for a basic degree in Australia, if the student does not qualify for any scholarship. It is much, much higher for studying the more lucrative streams of medicine, law or anything that leads to a well paying profession. The costs in the US and UK are even higher, especially for foreign students, who pay higher fees. This is the way the future is being engineered. This is one more step to creating a super indebted society, where everyone owes something to the system and banks and are effectively enslaved for the rest of their lives, working at what jobs they can get without questioning basics or fundamentals.

A western style education system and the media surrounding it teaches people

- not just what to think, but what NOT to think

- not just what to question, but what NOT to question

In reading about a culture, it is important to know and understand not just what is said, but what is NOT said. Often, the latter is more important than the former!

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Reply Report 财神 2014-5-17 19:35
and can be said life also in debt we got. must pay on time otherwise we forced to be squatter  
Reply Report snowipine 2014-5-17 21:24
"Go with the flow"-----an old Chinese pop song, which was quite popular in -80s.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-5-19 10:14
I agree with you completely. What is the solution?
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-19 10:36
teamkrejados: I agree with you completely. What is the solution?
The only 'solutions' i can see are
- changing one's attitude to education and seeing what is really worth going to university for
- pursuing more affordable options around the world and online courses. even the poor in richer countries might send their kids to Asia or Europe for more affordable education and a worthwhile experience of another language or culture
- a revolution in governance and policy making in the expensive countries with a change in the orientation of the people in power and the will of the majority actually being translated to policy. Don't hold your breath for this one, though!
Reply Report teamkrejados 2014-5-19 10:44
KIyer: The only 'solutions' i can see are
- changing one's attitude to education and seeing what is really worth going to university for
- pursuing more affo ...
We could have a nice conversation about the merits of higher education... interested?
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-19 10:50
teamkrejados: We could have a nice conversation about the merits of higher education... interested?
absolutely!
would you like to PM me?
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-19 14:17
I received from information from a parent who sends his child to university in the UK and claims to spend about 60,000 British pounds for the degree and does not feel it is too high.

60,000 British Pounds translates to about $108,000 Australian dollars, which is close to the figure I originally found in the Australian newspaper.
85,000 GBP becomes $153,000/- AUD! even more.
From the net I see that the average income in UK is
22,202 British Pounds of which on 16,700 pounds is disposable. I guess that includes living expenses after taxes!!
How many people in UK would feel  that the charges are not 'too high'? Would it be fair to state that the people in the lower income bracket in the UK, who form the majority would not feel so?

It costs more than 3 times an years total income before taxes! Now, how long do you think it will take an youngster to pay off this 'not too high' loan of 60,000 pounds? He/She will pay more than the amount in interest if they take 10-15 years to pay it off. it is about half the cost of a small house!!

There is always the same tired argument made in selling this concept - over the lifetime the person will earn more, so pay us  (the universities) up now, right away!! and pay your bank for the rest of your life.

Barring some minor exceptions, I believe that knowledge is available for minimal cost and can be personally delivered to the student for about the same price regardless of whether it is law or medicine or English or Math. I believe the cost to the student beyond a reasonable fixed, affordable fee should be the EFFORT they put into acquiring the knowledge. The financial benefit they get should be related to the EFFORT they put while they work. One cannot morally justify hiking up the costs to such ridiculous levels on the premise that they will earn more in life (by their own hard work) and so they or their parents can be gouged NOW! This is the exploitative capitalistic approach that is a trap for a lifetime of work, beginning with a heavy ball and chain clamped to them at the very beginning. It is a travesty of all we should wish for our children - not just our own biological children, but ALL children who we hope will respect and love us in our old age or when have left this world giving them a burden to remember us by.
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-19 15:53
apparently my figures for the average British income are out of date, and are up about 20% more than i mentioned... to about 26,000 pounds.. well, income does go up and usually inflation costs go up higher on the average for the average income earner...  medical and education costs tend to go up more than inflation in most cases.
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-20 05:48
We can argue the details, but there is no need to make education this complicated and  so costly except artificially to manipulate society in a negative way. It is possible to provide very good quality delivery of knowledge, personally, at a very affordable price. It seems that it is not in the interest of certain vested interests to let it be so. It is like the medical care in the USA.. where they have gone so ridiculous that treatment for a minor cut at a hospital can cost someone $500-$500 dollars, or a minor scratch on a car will cost hundreds of dollars. The system of greed is truly out of control. The way to fix the massive debt is apparently to get as many into debt as possible, starting as early as possible. Targeting the potential high earners (uni graduates) seems to be the way to pass the torch of indebtedness (our own debts) to the next generation!
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-21 05:40
someone asked me what I think university education should cost.

cost of university tuition should be no more than the cost of high school tuition in a public school. The class sizes are bigger in uni, so the teachers can still be paid more. Students that expect luxury rooms should pay for themselves or have their well-off parents pay them if they want. The rest should have a lean, affordable facilities that are reserved for anyone that wants them.  Other than some subjects that require lab facilities, the rest can easily do with a room with white/black board (these days even they are internet connected). They should stop advertising universities and uni life with glitzy commercials and hyping university life as a big party. It is a time for hard work and study, only those interested and willing to commit should be attracted. Too many clubs and membership fees for everything that the student does not need to use, massive scholarships for athletes to attract crowds in ballgames in universities with focus on other areas like science, math, art, literature etc - all can go. For locals and citizens, tax payers can subsidize the large items like land, huge stadiums or big ticket equipment. Students working part-time should be able to fund their own education of the most expensive courses and graduate without having to get into debt. This was done for centuries before the USAnians came along with their model. It is a bloated scam, just like their economy (they give a new opposite meaning to the word 'economy' itself). Sure, one can and should run an university efficiently like a business, but without forgetting that the core objective is spreading knowledge and keeping in mind that it is not with their OWN money that one runs universities. If one cannot see that something is way, way off track in higher education by now, it is like those that did not see the USA debt from the first trillion onwards until now and still did nothing about it. Unfortunately, the side-kicks of the USA are busy catching up with it in achieving its level of indebtedness for their citizens if not for their government!!
Reply Report 286633460 2014-5-23 15:04
As for Chinese students who study abroad also should pay a lot in tuition fee.and then I know from your post that ,native students also pay a lot ,but my question is. I am confused about what your attitude? at the end of the post you said  the media surrounding teach them  not just what to ask and just what not to ask and so on ,a little confused,.are you said the pattern of the western education is correct to teach us what not to ask?or you just say something in irony~ ?
Reply Report Way_23 2014-5-23 21:57
" western style education system and the media surrounding it teaches people

- not just what to think, but what NOT to think

- not just what to question, but what NOT to question

In reading about a culture, it is important to know and understand not just what is said, but what is NOT said. Often, the latter is more important than the former!"
It is puzzling for me that western style education teaches what NOT to think and what NOT to question. How about the spirits of freedom, democracy, criticism, and creativity in advanced western countries?
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-24 07:05
286633460: As for Chinese students who study abroad also should pay a lot in tuition fee.and then I know from your post that ,native students also pay a lot ,but ...
what I mean when I write about 'what NOT to question or THINK' in the western system of education is this:

The western system of education and media encourage solving technical problems, questioning processes of efficiency etc, in a logical fashion. But they do not encourage or talk about fundamental 'values' of justice, morals, fairness etc in addressing situations or problems, especially when it comes to who they consider outsiders and other nations. They address issues in a narrow field of self-interest. They dont really care if millions in another country sell their land, house and get into debt to send a child on the faint hope of getting ahead in life in a hyped up western education, while the same education can be obtained for a much affordable price locally. All such questions have to be raised by oneself. If the truth is uncomfortable, they will not address it, but ignore it or question the motives of the person raising the question. When there is powerful motive to sell something, many discussions are simply advertisements, not honest opinions. There is not even much thought given to large sections of local families getting in serious un-repayable debt if some section get richer at their expense. The lopsided distribution of wealth in the west is not entirely the result of difference of effort and hard work between different sections of people domestically.
I raised this point to make encourage people to think for themselves and be misled by only positive aspects of western higher education.
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-24 07:16
Way_23: " western style education system and the media surrounding it teaches people

- not just what to think, but what NOT to think

- not just what to ...
Many things, often the most important, are in fine print in the west if they are to be revealed at all, as a legal requirement. One has to figure things out oneself. that is what i mean. All values of freedom are limited by self and national interests (as defined by the ruling class).
Reply Report KIyer 2014-5-24 07:28
The constant push to consume ever more expensive goods and services (especially services only keep growing more expensive, while goods become cheaper as newer ones come along) can not be questioned seriously in the West. It is consciously ignored. This is a potential trap for newly developing consumer economies. There needs to be a certain point when consumerism should be tamed, while it is good to fuel growth at certain times. There are huge pitfalls - like the big pit the USA and others have fallen into - debt! They are nations and government and no one can make them pay, but individuals in that situation will suffer greatly. Higher education in the west and east these days can be a lifelong trap.
Reply Report Way_23 2014-5-24 09:14
KIyer: Many things, often the most important, are in fine print in the west if they are to be revealed at all, as a legal requirement. One has to figure thin ...
Thanks, got it. There is no absolute freedom.
Reply Report 286633460 2014-5-24 16:28
KIyer: what I mean when I write about 'what NOT to question or THINK' in the western system of education is this:

The western system of education and media  ...
It is very nice of you to give me detail and thank you very much, and in my views you are right and western education has drawbacks, but I also think that there are some differences between US and Europe even in Europe. and maybe something lead two diffferent results and a lot of American also have too many ideas on world issue. that is my idea, and I learn a lot from your post and reply , thanks.
Reply Report KristaChen 2014-5-25 18:10
China is going almost the same way as what you mentioned in the passage, the education fee is getting higher and higher. However, it is the parents who pay the fee, worse than western system.

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