Monday, August 09, 2010

Links for 8/9/10

Charles Schwartz
The official accounting by the UC administration concludes that student fees now cover 30% to 40% of the average cost of education (this is the source of the numbers quoted by the Howard Jarvis group, above). But the official calculation includes the full cost of faculty research throughout the academic year. It is, therefore, a badly distorted figure.

To correct this, one must disaggregate the accounting reports according to the two basic functions of the university. This idea raises the hackles of administrators and faculty alike, not just at UC, but at research universities across the country. The common practice is to hide all of the cost of faculty research not covered by sponsored research grants under the misleading heading of expenditures for "Instruction."

My own calculations, separating those cost components by using data from a faculty time-use study, lead to the conclusion that, as of 2007, undergraduate student fees at UC had reached 100% of the actual cost of providing their education. And fees have since risen by 30 percent!
Kevin Carey
Here’s something I’ve learned in my years as an education policy analyst: Anytime anyone’s solution for anything in education involves a subsidiary unit of government “submitting a plan” to a higher unit of government, that person or organization doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Call it Carey’s Law, if you like. You know how in the military they say “hope is not a plan”? Well, in education policy, a plan is not a plan. “Submit a plan” is the ultimate compliance-based non-policy. Make no mistake: plans will be submitted. People will fill out whatever form you want them to if the dollar amount involved is big enough. If you make them submit a plan to accomplish X, they will dutifully submit a spell-checked document that says, in roughly 20,000 words, “We plan to accomplish X.” Then they’ll cash your check and go back to doing whatever they were doing before they paused to write the plan...
George Leef
The Soviet Union had a great number of universities and the world’s highest percentage of college-educated people, but its economy was pathetic. Conversely, Hong Kong has never been big on higher education, but within a few decades after the end of World War II, it was an economic dynamo…

Just as we don’t worry that, oh, California has too many scientists compared with Oregon, we should not worry that India has too many compared with the United States.

Competition is good. Ben Wildavsky has documented well the upsurge of competition in education globally and even if some of it may be as ostentatious as the latest Las Vegas casinos, the trend is healthy.
Tim Ranzetta
The 61% growth in Pell Grants to an annual figure of $29.4 billion was driven by both a 30% increase in recipients to 8.23 million and a 23% increase in average grant size to $3,566...

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