The Instigator
TheAdamb99
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
TBR
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

This House Believes that Government Should Pay for University Fees

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
TheAdamb99
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 802 times Debate No: 70611
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

TheAdamb99

Con

I believe that the government should NOT pay for university fees for students. Nothing is free. Everything must be paid for by someone. My belief is that it is inherently wrong to extort money from another person to support your cause, no matter how noble it is.

I think that working to make university more affordable is a better strategy than simply handing out tuition. Eliminating general education, for example, would drastically cut costs for students who want to learn about engineering but can't afford an extra year. Also, Youtube, Wikipedia, and textbooks can provide as good an education to the persistent student as a university, the only difference is that you have no degree to show for it. Offering a way for these students to prove their competence in their subject, such as allowing them to pay for college examinations without paying for the lectures, would also provide a much more economical solution for determined students to acquire a degree.

People who go to university should go because they want the specialization that university can and should provide. Not everyone should go to university. Now, I'm aware that not everyone can pay for university. That is why I support government aid to the poor. To refute a point, giving everyone a college education will not help the UK in the long run. Instead, we will have more lower level workers with college degrees. No matter what you do, we still will need cleaning staff, lollipop men, gardeners, and construction workers. Plus, there are only so many CEOs, Presidents, and other high paying jobs. Not everyone will get one. In recent decades there has been a rapid rise in the number of graduates. But, many graduates are leaving university to take jobs which don"t require a degree. A study by the ONS found that nearly 50% of workers who left university in the past five years are doing jobs which don"t require a degree. Therefore, it is a mistake to continue to fund the public expansion of university education because the economy doesn"t need more graduates as much as other skills.

If we made education free I feel that the value for education would plummet in a downward spiral. The reason why we value our higher education so much is because we know we're putting a lot on the line for the education we seek. The loans we have taken out for this education is what reminds us why we're pursing out this dream. If it was free we wouldn't have as much drive and not to mention many would abuse this education policy. If we made education free how would the professors who teach us get paid? Or the faculty who serves the school? There are many issues with making education free.
Also the rapid rise in university numbers means that greater pressure is being put on university resources. Since the government is struggling to maintain public spending, let alone increase spending, there is a danger that university education and research may suffer, causing UK education to lag behind other countries. If universities can charge students, it will help maintain standards, quality of teaching and the reputation of UK universities..
After all these points ladies and gentlemen I think you can begin to see why the government should not pay for university fees. I know you would all like to go to university for free but it is not feasible! It is totally impractical in today's society!
TBR

Pro

Not only should universities be free, students should be paid while obtaining an advanced degree.

A good number of advanced countries offer free university [1], and more offer substantial financial backing directly to the university system reducing tuition paid by students to almost nothing. Why do this? Well, they are investing in students just like employers invest in employees. They are investing like a country or company invests in infrastructure. They want and need the best students to get the best education possible to insure the success of the country.

Externalities to the mission of applying resources appropriately in any system should be minimized for the sake of the mission. In the case of education, financial ability is no different than hair color, left or right hand bias, or a list of other externals that have nothing to do with applying the resource. Educational resourced that are given to one or another using a selection process undermined by biases diminishes the effectiveness of the system. The best students are not determined by the ability to pay. It makes little sense to include this externality to the selection process.

Costs are misappropriated to the end product, the student. Building a company, or a nation, requires investment. A company may spend a healthy percentage of revenues on research and development [2]. They may invest in infrastructure, or simply planting a crop. These expenses are accepted and understood. In many industries investment on training and educating people are similarly understood. A machine operator may be hired with little to no ability to do his job, the company understanding that some time and money will be invested in the employee. Once complete, the employee will begin producing revenues for the company " a good investment. Nations have similar necessity to invest in human capital " with the same potential misuse of valuable resources when externalities are defining attributes of the selection process.

Costs of the system are real. So too are the benefits to society. The question of where the money comes from simply a matter of priorities. The case can be made that preparing for war is a good investment. The argument can be made that education is even a valuable part of preparing for defense - even more so than yet another bomber or ship. That point is not even necessary to make for a capitalist. Capitalism as a national system insists that we invest on human capital to grow.

[1] http://www.salon.com...

[2] http://fortune.com...

Debate Round No. 1
TheAdamb99

Con

The social-democratic model, most prevalent in Europe, is a failure. The system of paying for universal healthcare, education, pensions, etc. threatens to bankrupt the countries maintaining them; it is simply unsustainable. The cost of paying for free university education is ruinously high. The government money needed to be channeled into universities to provide for free education, as well as into various other generous social welfare benefits, has been a case of borrowing from future generations to finance current consumption. For these countries to survive, and lest other countries attempt to follow suit with similar models, they must rethink what they can afford to provide freely to citizens. In the case of education, it seems fair to say that all states should offer access to their citizens to primary and secondary education opportunities, since the skills acquired during such education are absolutely necessary for citizens to function effectively within society; reading, writing, basic civics, etc. are essential knowledge which the state is well-served in providing. University, on the other hand, is not essential to life in the same way. People can be functional and responsible citizens without it; it can be nice to attend, but one can live effectively without it. For this reason, the state must consider university in the same way it does any non-essential service; people may pay for it if they wish to partake, but they cannot view it as an entitlement owed by the state that will simply provide it to everyone. The cost is just too high, and the state must act from a utilitarian perspective in this case. Instituting fees will place the cost of education upon those wishing to reap the benefits of education, and not on the taxpayer.

When the state offers a universal service, inefficiencies inevitably arise with its provision. There are four principal economic problems that arise from free university education. First, there is a major problem of resources being lost to bureaucracy. In a state-funded university system, tax money is wasted on paying civil servants to deal with procurement questions with regard to funding for universities, as well as in mis-allocation of funds due to bureaucrats" lack of expertise and specialist knowledge necessary to know the correct funding decisions, which independent universities would be able to make on their own more efficiently. Second, when the state funds all university education for free, funding will be allocated to unprofitable courses. As there is no profit motive or price mechanism driving these decisions, there is no way of reaching an efficient decision except by guesswork. The funding of students who are not really interested in attending university or who are apathetic toward higher education creates the third problem. Such students only attend because it is free to do so, and it would be much better to enact a system whereby such students cannot claim a trip to university as an entitlement. A moral hazard problem emerges among such students. They are allowed to reap all the benefits of education, while needing to incur none of the costs. The student who goes to university to waste three or our years and study an easy arts course imposes an unjust cost on society, who has to pay for these students who are not in university to gain from it, but merely to waste time and not work hard. The fourth problem of free university education is saturation of degree-holders in the market . In order to have value, a degree must be a signal of quality. When everyone has a degree, the value of such a qualification plummets. The ability for employers to ascertain high quality potential employees is thus presented with greater difficulty in making a selection. The flip side of this is that graduates end up serving in jobs that do not require a degree-holding individual to do them. Thus, a system of fees is superior to free education because it allows for more efficient allocation of resources to universities and to individuals.

Without university fees, universities become dependent on the state for funding. The problem with this is that the state"s aim is to increase university attendance levels for the sake of political gain, while at the same time striving not to increase spending on the universities. The result is an increase in attendance, without commensurate increase in funding from the state. This leads to larger class-sizes and less spending per student. Furthermore, these problems result in disconnected lecturers who, due to increased class sizes, cannot connect to their students or offer more than cursory assistance to struggling pupils. The decline in teaching quality is further exacerbated by their need to focus less on teaching and more on research, which is more profitable and thus encouraged by cash-strapped universities. With fees, on the other hand, the quality of universities increases for three reasons. First, funding improves, as university may charge in accordance with need rather than with making do with whatever the state gives them to fund teaching. The result is a consistent quality in education resources rather than it being dependent upon what the state happens to give universities, and on how many students it pushes to be accepted. Second, quality of teaching is improved. Because a university wants people to attend and to pay fees, the programs and degrees they offer have to be good signals of quality. Universities thus stay in business only so long as they remain purveyors of high quality educational goods. They must thus let in smart people, irrespective of their financial background, which will in part serve to admit and finance capable people from disadvantaged backgrounds through targeted financial aid programs. Third, the average quality of students attending university will improve. This is because students feel they need to get the most from their investment in education, which can be quite substantial. They will thus be more attentive and more interested in doing well. An example of higher quality education stemming from fee-paying higher education systems is that of the United States, which has twenty of the top fifty ranked universities in the world. Quality is clearly improved when university is not free.

Not everyone goes to university. Many do not go because they simply do not want to. Others feel they can do something more productive than continuing in education. Yet all taxpayers fund higher education when it is a state-funded enterprise. The state funds essential services, but higher education is not such a service. People do not need it to live. For this reason the state should not allow a subset of society to mooch on the taxpayer for its own benefit. Attendees already tend to make lots more money than non-graduates, and will, if they make good decisions, have the facility to pay back loans if they need them in a fee-paying system. Additionally, the specific subset free university education tends to benefit is not the disadvantaged, the group the state talks about helping when it institutes such policies, but rather the middle and upper classes who would have paid fees, but now can enjoy a free education courtesy of the taxpayer. This pattern has been seen in Ireland, for example, where poorer communities still view higher education as something for the rich even though it is free. These groups continue to enter the workforce in similar numbers as they had before the ending of fees, and they still tend to prefer trade schools to universities if they do seek qualifications beyond the secondary level. Clearly, the implementation of free university education does not open it up on an instrumental level to individuals who would not have attended otherwise due to being from poor areas.

[Source: http://www2.idebate.org...]
TBR

Pro

TBR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheAdamb99

Con

As my opponent has forfeited the last round, I am going to reiterate what I said in the last round so he/she can make rebuttals.

The social-democratic model, most prevalent in Europe, is a failure. The system of paying for universal healthcare, education, pensions, etc. threatens to bankrupt the countries maintaining them; it is simply unsustainable. The cost of paying for free university education is ruinously high. The government money needed to be channeled into universities to provide for free education, as well as into various other generous social welfare benefits, has been a case of borrowing from future generations to finance current consumption. For these countries to survive, and lest other countries attempt to follow suit with similar models, they must rethink what they can afford to provide freely to citizens. In the case of education, it seems fair to say that all states should offer access to their citizens to primary and secondary education opportunities, since the skills acquired during such education are absolutely necessary for citizens to function effectively within society; reading, writing, basic civics, etc. are essential knowledge which the state is well-served in providing. University, on the other hand, is not essential to life in the same way. People can be functional and responsible citizens without it; it can be nice to attend, but one can live effectively without it. For this reason, the state must consider university in the same way it does any non-essential service; people may pay for it if they wish to partake, but they cannot view it as an entitlement owed by the state that will simply provide it to everyone. The cost is just too high, and the state must act from a utilitarian perspective in this case. Instituting fees will place the cost of education upon those wishing to reap the benefits of education, and not on the taxpayer.

When the state offers a universal service, inefficiencies inevitably arise with its provision. There are four principal economic problems that arise from free university education. First, there is a major problem of resources being lost to bureaucracy. In a state-funded university system, tax money is wasted on paying civil servants to deal with procurement questions with regard to funding for universities, as well as in mis-allocation of funds due to bureaucrats" lack of expertise and specialist knowledge necessary to know the correct funding decisions, which independent universities would be able to make on their own more efficiently. Second, when the state funds all university education for free, funding will be allocated to unprofitable courses. As there is no profit motive or price mechanism driving these decisions, there is no way of reaching an efficient decision except by guesswork. The funding of students who are not really interested in attending university or who are apathetic toward higher education creates the third problem. Such students only attend because it is free to do so, and it would be much better to enact a system whereby such students cannot claim a trip to university as an entitlement. A moral hazard problem emerges among such students. They are allowed to reap all the benefits of education, while needing to incur none of the costs. The student who goes to university to waste three or our years and study an easy arts course imposes an unjust cost on society, who has to pay for these students who are not in university to gain from it, but merely to waste time and not work hard. The fourth problem of free university education is saturation of degree-holders in the market . In order to have value, a degree must be a signal of quality. When everyone has a degree, the value of such a qualification plummets. The ability for employers to ascertain high quality potential employees is thus presented with greater difficulty in making a selection. The flip side of this is that graduates end up serving in jobs that do not require a degree-holding individual to do them. Thus, a system of fees is superior to free education because it allows for more efficient allocation of resources to universities and to individuals.

Without university fees, universities become dependent on the state for funding. The problem with this is that the state"s aim is to increase university attendance levels for the sake of political gain, while at the same time striving not to increase spending on the universities. The result is an increase in attendance, without commensurate increase in funding from the state. This leads to larger class-sizes and less spending per student. Furthermore, these problems result in disconnected lecturers who, due to increased class sizes, cannot connect to their students or offer more than cursory assistance to struggling pupils. The decline in teaching quality is further exacerbated by their need to focus less on teaching and more on research, which is more profitable and thus encouraged by cash-strapped universities. With fees, on the other hand, the quality of universities increases for three reasons. First, funding improves, as university may charge in accordance with need rather than with making do with whatever the state gives them to fund teaching. The result is a consistent quality in education resources rather than it being dependent upon what the state happens to give universities, and on how many students it pushes to be accepted. Second, quality of teaching is improved. Because a university wants people to attend and to pay fees, the programs and degrees they offer have to be good signals of quality. Universities thus stay in business only so long as they remain purveyors of high quality educational goods. They must thus let in smart people, irrespective of their financial background, which will in part serve to admit and finance capable people from disadvantaged backgrounds through targeted financial aid programs. Third, the average quality of students attending university will improve. This is because students feel they need to get the most from their investment in education, which can be quite substantial. They will thus be more attentive and more interested in doing well. An example of higher quality education stemming from fee-paying higher education systems is that of the United States, which has twenty of the top fifty ranked universities in the world. Quality is clearly improved when university is not free.

Not everyone goes to university. Many do not go because they simply do not want to. Others feel they can do something more productive than continuing in education. Yet all taxpayers fund higher education when it is a state-funded enterprise. The state funds essential services, but higher education is not such a service. People do not need it to live. For this reason the state should not allow a subset of society to mooch on the taxpayer for its own benefit. Attendees already tend to make lots more money than non-graduates, and will, if they make good decisions, have the facility to pay back loans if they need them in a fee-paying system. Additionally, the specific subset free university education tends to benefit is not the disadvantaged, the group the state talks about helping when it institutes such policies, but rather the middle and upper classes who would have paid fees, but now can enjoy a free education courtesy of the taxpayer. This pattern has been seen in Ireland, for example, where poorer communities still view higher education as something for the rich even though it is free. These groups continue to enter the workforce in similar numbers as they had before the ending of fees, and they still tend to prefer trade schools to universities if they do seek qualifications beyond the secondary level. Clearly, the implementation of free university education does not open it up on an instrumental level to individuals who would not have attended otherwise due to being from poor areas.

[Source: http://www2.idebate.org......]
TBR

Pro

TBR forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by TBR 1 year ago
TBR
I am in a roll-out that is taking strange twists of time TheAdamb99. I apologies for the FF round. Time is just not my friend right now. The real problem is sustained time and sleep. I have been basically "at the ready" since last week. Its getting to me.
Posted by TBR 2 years ago
TBR
You have not posted a structure, and have put an argument in round 1, so I will use round 1 for an argument, lets use round 2 for rebuttal, and three for conclusion?

I have to work on the argument, so I will post later, and give you a chance to think about if the above structure is OK with you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
TheAdamb99TBRTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits