April 16, 2016

Is not graduation time a bit late to inform students: “There is more to university than money”?

Sir, Nancy Rothwell, the president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester, writes: “Each year I tell graduating students that if they leave university with only a degree and greater “earning power”, I consider we have failed them. A university experience should be about so much more than this.” “There is more to university than money” April 16.

Absolutely! But is not graduating time a bit late to disclose that? How much debt would students dare to take on in order to pay the tuition fees, if the request of admission papers contained a: “Warning, universities are more than about making money”.

By the way, has there recently been some academic research on the evolution of the remuneration of professors? These Piketty days, it would be interesting to see how that has evolved.

In 2007 I argued that higher education should be more of a joint venture between professors and students. Of course I did not mean all the professors’ salaries were to be based on the earning powers of students. As I said, I fully agree that universities are much more than that, but, some better alignment of incentives, seems to be much called for.

It would seem that just like easy house financing translates into higher house prices, easier education financing just translates into higher tuition fees. But, I may be wrong, so as I said research is needed… any papers coming up on this?

PS. Someone commented. "There must be a little sadism involved here, since graduation time is precisely when students most begin to think of money."

@PerKurowski ©