Free university education?

Can this be true? Even if it is true, the quality must be bad. How can free things be good? You want quality you must be prepared to pay for it. The more you pay, the higher the quality. It must be, like our world best govt.

Effective this year, the whole of Germany will provide free university education when Lower Saxony decided to abolish university tuition fees. Wow, this is like fiction. Actually many countries in Europe provide free university education. Bloody hell, I am like a frog in a well. Only today then I heard about it, read about it. Scandinavian countries like Norway, Denmark and Sweden have been providing free university education for many years and it seems that this is a trend and other countries are following suit. In UK, Welsh university education is free for Welsh.

According to a chart from Source: http://www.zmescience.com/other/germany-education-fees-01102014/  Scotland and several East European countries are also providing free university education for their citizens. University fees in Spain, France and Belgium are less than 1000 euros per year while Portugal, Italy and a few East European states are charging less than 3000 euros. No wonder their rankings are lower than our world best universities.
How much are we charging our students? Britain charges more than 9000 euros for their universities, the most expensive. I think we must be modeling after Britain and using Britain as a benchmark in fees and quality. Our universities are comparable to the best of the British in both counts so it is only appropriate to benchmark against them.

Why are some of these countries starting to offer free university education to their citizens? Simple. It is an investment. The better educated the people are, the more productive they are and better serve the country and its economy. Put it the other way, if the university education is so expensive that the people are not university graduates, how are there going to contribute to the economy? Would they be happy to be hawkers and crane drivers? In Sin City, many graduates are now good enough to drive taxis.

What if our citizens are all non graduates, would we be importing all the top and highly paid employees from abroad, the foreign talents? Highly skilled jobs and professions need university education. You cannot have doctors, engineers, scientist etc without tertiary education. Wait a minute, I may be wrong here, there were doctors in the past without university education, like sinsehs, dentists and many other professions. Could be self taught. Is this a contradiction? Never mind if we can live with fakes.

We need high quality university education. And of course quality means money. The buildings, the foreign talent professors, the land, very expensive here, the material, everything needs to be paid for. No money how can?

And providing university education is a big commercial business and can bring in a lot of revenue. Maybe this is one of the main reasons why our universities are so obsessed with university rankings. It is a big money making business. But can we also follow those countries to provide free university education to our citizens and make foreign students pay instead of providing free education to foreign students and make ours pay? Funny right?

The Welsh are providing free for their citizens? The European Unions are charging their member country students a lower fee than those outside of the EU. Is there anything we can learn from this news? Are we doing the right thing or the wrong thing?

Kopi Level - Green


Anonymous said...

Aiyoh, you are too late or what.

The Singapore government is providing FREE TUTITION AND FREE ACCOMMODATION PLUS ALLOWANCES for foreigners already for so many years....

What do you think.

Anonymous said...

Free university education?
What will they think of next?
PAP Ministers working for free without dignity and without pay?
We pay million dollar salaries and still we get some pretty lousy performance from some PAP ministers.
If we don't pay them then how?

Anonymous said...

Good thinking. If don't pay them or pay them too little, what would you get?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we don't pay these PAP Ministers well, they will go away to another country that better appreciates their talents;
e.g. India, China, Philippines or ISA.

Anonymous said...

Should encourage them to do so.

Anonymous said...

More to that, pay in Germany for doctors and engineers are almost the same. Why?

b said...

Nothing is free. They are funded by taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

/// Nothing is free. They are funded by taxpayers. ///
October 04, 2014 3:22 pm

Yew think PAP Ministers' million dollar salaries not funded by taxpayers meh?

Anonymous said...

Yew think PAP Ministers' million dollar salaries not funded by taxpayers meh?

No, that is not funded by taxpayers. That is funded by the excess CPF investment returns creamed off from our CPF monies. Even if you are not a taxpayer retired old man or woman, they still cream off your minimum sum returns.

Robert C H Chia said...

Enjoy your commentaries. Just to say that Scottish students do not pay university tuition fees because of decision by Scottish parliment to abolish it. Welsh assembly havr more limited powers so there are subsidies but Welsh students DO have to pay a smaller tuition fee. English students have to pay up to £9000 in tuition fees. Before 1998 all UK students did not pay tuition fees.

Anonymous said...

Rb // But can we also follow those countries to provide free university education to our citizens and make foreign students pay instead of providing free education to foreign students and make ours pay? Funny right?//

Last GE even an undergrad was so fed that he joined a team of rookies to oppose the garment.

Coming GE may see many more helping in the background to unseat the ministars in charge.

Some photos taken in HLP combined event of ReturnMyCPF protest and YMCA children and oldies charity show DEPICTED one big placard that reads " 下届大选, 是必屠龙"!

In literal translation, it means " Vowing to SLAY the DRAGON in the next GE"!

Well, there are many other ministars WHO DESERVED to be BOOTED OUT more than the "intended msg in the placard"!

How about the following suggested wordings for future placards:

1) " 来届大选, 让川成仁 "

2) " 来届大选, 整到无声 "

3) " 来届大选, 晚杰不保 "

4) " 来届大选, 泥山不保 "

5) " 来届大选, 必屠双陈 "!!!!!

6) " 来届大选, 替天灭陈 "!!!!!

7) " 来届大选, 陈川成仁"!!!!!

8) " 来届大选, 整成无声"!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How about "陈川无能, 成仁有余"?

Anonymous said...

" 纸虎陈氏, 祸国殃民"

Anonymous said...

"为民除害, 安邦定国"

Anonymous said...

"陈整害民, 亡国亡朝"

Anonymous said...

" 害国害民, 整成无声"

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi Robert Chia, welcome to the blog. as far as I can remember, there was no mention of countries providing free university education in our media. We only heard about how high other students are paying and we are still cheap, or cheaper than the most expensive universities in the world.

University education has wide ranging implications and consequences to a country and its people. The Nordic countries have come to understand that, as an investment on the people. If leaders cannot get this right, and wanted to downgrade education and encouraging the people not to pursue tertiary education as a better option, something is seriously wrong in the agenda.

And if education is being priced out from the reach of the average citizens, that what is the philosophy of the govt?

Robert C H Chia said...

Thank you. I am entirely in agreement with you about university education as an investment, not just for economic reasons, but for producing graduates who are better able to balance material success with the greater social good. The Scandinavian countries do understand this. Having just returned from Stockholm and Mora (the romantic heart of Sweden) and meeting a wide range of people there I can categorically say that the lifestyle of the ordinary person there is very well balanced. University education in Britain for home students used to be free until after the Thatcher years when fees were introduced initially set at 1000 pounds but now universities are allowed to charge up to 9000. In Scotland, however, Scottish students do not pay any tuition fees because there is a greater sense, like the Scandinavians, that students should not be put off going to university because they are unable to afford it. England is moving gradually towards a US model whilst Scotland prefers the Scandinavian model.