|Posted on December 29, 2015 at 4:40 PM|
A wonderful quote from Frank Bruni in "The Elite Squeeze" in the March 30, 2015, issue of Time:
"Despite all the challenges facing higher education in America, from mounting student debt to grade inflation and erratic standards, our system is rightly the world's envy, and not just because our most revered universities remain on the cutting edge of research and attract talent from around the globe. We also have a plenitude and variety of settings for learning that are unrivaled."
This year I made professional visits to universities and quality assurance agencies in several countries across the globe. Every visit left me profoundly grateful to be working in the United States. In one country, students at the public universities were demonstrating because the quality of education they were receiving was so inferior to that offered by more expensive private universities. Another country has no legitimate quality assurance agency for its higher education institutions, making it extremely difficult for universities there to establish the credibility of their degree programs on the world market. In two countries I visited, there is no freedom of thought--criticize the government at your peril. In one country, college is available only to students who complete an appropriate college preparation curriculum in grade school--there are no opportunities for working adults to get a better education and thereby advance themselves. And some countries offer only a limited array of programs of study.
In the United States, in contrast, if you want a post-secondary education, you can get it. No matter what your background, or your prior education, or what you are interested in learning, there is a college that can meet your needs and give you a good quality education.
So as 2015 draws to a close, I feel very blessed to be part of the United States' admittedly messy and imperfect but plentiful array of higher education opportunities.
I hope you are in the midst of a wonderful holiday season and that you have a great 2016.