Education is an important aspect of life that is continuously valued in the modern world. Students find satisfaction and contentment in being able to study for their chosen fields in top universities and colleges, receive quality education and get a diploma that would make their job applications easier. But there are some who cannot fully fund their studies but are very eager to receive this type of opportunity. Aside from scholarships and student loans provided by the university or from organizations, the government also provides assistance but this is not enough. Some students and universities claim that the government should be able to give them full financial support but this can seem to be a little unfair for governments. They may also have other priorities but most people would think that it is the government’s responsibility to give everyone a chance with education. This debate has been lingering in every education law to be passed in respective legislative sectors of each country and it has not quieted down. For this essay, this argument would be the basis of my discussion. This essay would discuss why students should understand that governments may not fully be able to fund in full all the students in their respected university courses due to various reasons.
The first reason governments would not be able to fund all university courses are because it also has other commitments and priorities that are needed by the country. There are other sectors such as health, food and livelihood; that would need more funding because it is the basic commodity and need by citizens. According to Michael Rizzo (2009), national budgets may overload if the government would try to keep the tuition fee low or for them to be fully shoulder the expenses of each student. The budgets would have to be revised to give a lion’s share to the education sector and risk the complications that may arise in other sectors that would really need the funding.
Not all governments could provide this much assistance especially by developing and third-world countries. The budget would not be able to cover it as well no matter how much budget shares are allotted to education in the higher level. For developed countries such as the United States, budget allotment for education is at an average of $53.4 billion. Even if the country is currently experiencing an economic crisis, the US federal government is still giving a lot of attention and even gave at least $90 million to technology research for students and teachers. Obama noted from the interview done by Bloomberg (2010), the government cannot risk decreasing the funding they could give to education as the business sector would gain a lot of it and may eventually help the country stand up from the crisis.
Developed countries have stronger economies to help them shoulder these kinds of ventures but what about the developing countries? Developing countries could only give at least 26% of their budget to education and not every state can give a sure amount on how big this percentage is. There may be chances as well that they may increasingly succumb to debt. Should this problem arise, universities would be the one to fully experience the political pressure of keeping the tuition fee low and help in preventing more financial debt. The government could lend money and provide scholarships for those who need it but they can only do so if the student is right to receive this kind of support like those with high marks, from poor families and special merits like honor awards and special merits on community and local government activities. These students are given special application grants to state-run colleges and universities that cover almost all of their needs in the university.
In May Plaige (2007)’s opinion which could also be considered as a reason why governments would not be able to handle the fees in full is that the government already covers the cost of education in high school through the use of taxes and this can already be enough to get into some jobs that gives minimum wage that can help one live. It is an option to students to go to the next level in college to get more experience for their careers and compete with others for the white-collared jobs they are intending to apply for. There can also be problems on over employment and imbalance of professionals available for companies to select should everyone get a chance in finishing college through the government’s help. This would create a big job pool for a particular trending career and it may take a while for companies to select the person needed for the particular position open at the moment. Students often prefer to enroll into trending and most searched jobs like nurse, doctor, and caregiver but this problem may lead into brain drain or malpractice since they cannot compete with the current job pool for the position. Others may not really fit any job description because of the rarity of the course and graduates with the diploma for it.
If the government would be the one to fully fund university courses, this problem would waste a lot of resources as graduates would not be able to pursue their careers in the overpopulated employment reserve. According to Stuart Kent (2008)’s assessment, only 48% of all students who manage to be given a chance in college finishes it and gets the degree. Most of those who never finished their degrees would just opt to enroll to training centers which can also be seen as a loss in investment. The money would no longer be recovered and it must be considered as a privilege to be even given a shot in getting into the tertiary years. In most of the developed countries in the world, even with a high school degree, one can live and get a job through the minimum wage it gives. Most companies also look for more applicants for blue-collared jobs because it is what they need. Depending on the course the student picks, the white-collared jobs they can offer may not be in the student’s capabilities or they require individuals with years of experience already with their degrees. This would make students find alternatives to get this requirement and it may take a lot of time to happen.
Education is a fundamental right of all students and it can also be one of the hardest rights to earn because of the costs and impact attached into it. Even if the governments would not be able to fully cover all the expenses for students, they are still finding ways to be able to do so even if it would take years to fully create a system that would allow free education and job opportunities for all.
Bloomberg (2010). ‘Obama Promotes $90 million technology fund to aid education’, viewed August 14, 2011 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-08/obama-promotes-90-million-technology-fund-to-aid-education.html
Kent, S (2008). ‘View: Debate on should students expect the government to help pay for their expenses?’ viewed August 14, 2011 http://www.helium.com/debates/86711-should-students-expect-the-government-to-help-pay-for-college-expenses/side_by_side?page=3
Plaige, M (2007). ‘View: Debate on should students expect the government to help pay for their expenses?’ viewed August 14, 2011 http://www.helium.com/debates/86711-should-students-expect-the-government-to-help-pay-for-college-expenses/side_by_side?page=4
Rizzo, M (2009). ‘Mission Not to Accomplish’, viewed August 14, 2011. http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/07/28
UNESCO (2010). ‘UNESCO: Education for All’, viewed August 14, 2011. http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/ed_for_all/