Higher education at a new crossroads

Rarely a day goes by without a warning about the precarious future of higher education in this country (“The University Crisis,” The Nation, Feb. 7).  I read such catastrophic predictions as a good thing.

What is the reason that colleges and universities exist in the first place?  I believe they do so to transmit competence.  Whether such competence is worthy of financial compensation is another story.  When I hear arguments that they should be more than that, like expanding one’s mind, I say fine, but let students do that on their own. 

College is merely the most convenient place to learn how to learn.  It is not an absolute determinant. If students want to delve into areas of their own interest, let them read at home from a variety of books on whatever subject they want.

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