The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

University education should be free

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 7/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,843 times Debate No: 78094
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)





1. Bop will be shared

2. My opponent as PRO in this debate will start by giving giving his case immediately in R1 and to even out the rounds he shall pass the last


Round 1:
PRO : Acceptance,Arguments

Round 2:
CON : Arguments, Rebuttals.

PRO :Rebuttals & counter rebuttals

Round 3:
CON : counter rebuttals
PRO : Shall pass this round.

And I think think that about settles it. Any questions can be clarified through PM.I wish my adversary Good Luck!


Apologies but due to unexpected time constriction, I am unable to write my argument. I would like to pass this round post my argument during the next round if that is fine with Con.
Debate Round No. 1


PRO has skipped posting his arguments in round 1 and I guess alterations need to be made in the debate structure now. The rules fundamentally remain the same except that PRO loses one round for rebuttal. It will be evaluated as if he forfeited the round.

Thank You.


Apologies for my absence in the previous round, this will be my opening arguments.

Premise: Economic disparity increases poverty

Economic disparity (or income disparity) is defined as

"The difference between the incomes of the richer and poorer parts of society. The more unequal the distribution of wealth in an economy, the greater the income disparity"

A country with higher rates of economic disparity will tend to have a larger lower class, no matter the general wealth of the population. This being because since lower classes have less, this means the wealth of the country in general would be more concentrated on the upper class, Hence, increasing the poverty rate of the country regardless of the collective GDP.

This can be seen in the United States. The following is graph of the US poverty rate from 1960 until 2010:

As of 1979 (when taxes were at their lowest) this saw the increase in the US poverty rate.
(Assertion of this premise is necessary for my next argument).
Argument: Free Tuition reduces economic disparity

A main reason deterring people from going to University or other forms of post-secondary education revolves around cost. As many potential students are unable to afford the tuition of the university. By being unable to access Universities, a large number of job opportunities are shut from them.

A lack of a better job than leads to a lack of a lower income, The correlation between post-secondary education and higher incomes can be seen in the graph below:

A lower income, combined with a lack of education then leads to the inability to pay for any possible education, hence leads to poverty and an inability to escape said poverty. Or in other words the "Cycle of poverty" (

With Free tuition, it is possible for low-income students to access universities and have acess to far better job opportunities. As a result, this lowers the gap between the upper classes and the lower classes.
This can be seen when comparing the US with various other countries with Free (or Subsidized tuition).
In the Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland) there universal to free tuition for post-secondary education and healthcare, along with no tuition fees students are received a monthly grant to help cover living expenses. While yes taxes are much higher in the Nordic countries the populace is more educated and economic disparity is much lower, leading to a stable economy. And since this would lead to a higher income on average, it therefore compensates for the high tax rates.

Compared to the U.S where students are going into more and more student debt. As of mid-2000"s the average American student debt is above $24k. This would lead to greater economic disparity as less people are able to access any form of post-secondary education (as previously mentioned). In November 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty, including almost 20% of American children, up from 14.3% (approximately 43.6 million) and in comparison to Sweden whose poverty rate was 3.7%, one of the lowest in Europe. And this is all despite the fact that The U.S is over 30 times larger than that of Sweden (Swedish GDP as of 2013: $557.9 billion USD. American GDP as of 2013: 16.8 trillion USD)

In conclusion, Economic disparity increases poverty, and Free Tuition reduces economic disparity, hence decreasing poverty.

Debate Round No. 2


The framework of this debate had to be altered since PRO violated the rules that were set in the beginning of the debate. I have chosen to let this violation slide but now a change in framework has to be enforced to cope up with the new development. This debate now only has one round with 8k characters for each contestant[I had already stated this in the comments section]. Thus, PRO is prohibited from posting anything related to the debate in the upcoming round for fairness sake so that we both got only one round each. Also complying with the above I will not post any rebuttals in this round since my opponent didn’t have the opportunity to do so either, hence I request the judges who are evaluating this debate to vote by the strength of each other’s argument.

I digress.

Clarification of the resolution:

The resolution states that “University education should be free” so as CON in this debate I would win even if I manage to prove that University education need not be free or show that the disadvantages of having free higher education outweigh the advantages. And with that made clear I will move on to my arguments.


Insisting that universities should be made free and expecting such a system to be actually helpful, is a whim, that borders near fantasy. It’s not really effective or beneficial in practice and I will show this through my case, in this debate.

A1.1) Offering such a service would be counter-productive:

When a commodity is offered for free its value decreases. Offering degrees for free would result in losing the actual pre-eminence that would have been tied to them. And moreover enforcing such a system would result in the funding of students who are not really interested in attending university or who are apathetic towards higher education. These students would join college just because of the fact that it is free to do so. This is not favourable for two reasons:

I) It would be a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

II) They might disrupt/destroy the actual atmosphere for learning and make it difficult for other students who wish to learn something, to do so.

A2) Cases where universities are not necessary:

It has been found that about 36 percent of the total jobs don’t require a university degree and only need a school level education.[1] This fact per se partly establishes my case and objectively shortens my burden of proving that university need not be free. Now moving on, the government is obliged to provide and cater to fundamental rights to its citizens. As such there is no such thing as ‘the right to higher education’ it is not something that needs to be fulfilled. College education would require a lot of expenses to be met and would be unjustifiable to ask the taxpayers who might not even benefit from it, to take care of such expenses. Also getting a college degree isn’t the only means through which an individual can become employed, there are a variety of different ways like sports, agriculture, politics, business etc. that can make a person sufficiently self-sustained. There are also a plethora of people who have become successful in life and in their career without a university degree[4]. Thus, on a whole, university education is not really necessary.

A3) The cost would be too expensive for the state to bear:

Having a system that pays for all college education threatens to bankrupt the countries maintaining them; it is simply unsustainable. The cost of paying for free university education is ruinously high, for instance, the cost for studying at universities like MIT amount to more than $40,000,[2] and that is for a single student. This money has to come from somewhere and in a just society is it fair to ask the majority of general taxpayers [employed people] who don’t directly benefit from Higher Education to completely pay for those who did? It would be 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 can be argued as 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.

A4) The quality of education suffers when university education is free

Without university fees, universities become dependent on the state for funding. Now what this does is, it makes the quality of these university become dependent on the political system of the given country. Ireland, where education has been free in all levels, has reportedly seen funding fall by 30 per cent in the past decade. A crisis looms, argue Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin, and Dr John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College Dublin.[3] It isn’t far-fetched to assume that the possibility of the some state manipulating or decreasing funding for political gains is imminent. Also such a system would make the state tend to maximize attendance of students rather focus on the quality of education. Thus, because of this, the amount of money spend on a single student, decreases and classroom sizes would witness huge increases which would in turn deter proper communication between the students and the faculties.

Addendum: Current system is better

With the current system there are plenty of opportunities for talented students to get into good universities based on merit, this helps in maintaining the quality of education and also helping students financially, so again it is NOT necessary for all universities to be made free and shell out a large chunk of government money and resources for this.

And with that I conclude my case. I have provided plenty of evidences as to why universities should not be free hence, necessarily the resolution has been negated.

Vote CON.








As requested by Con I will not post anything related to the debate in this round. Thanks to Con for the debate, and apologies for my absence in the first round.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
..d debate!
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
Reason for Selection

Pro tells me that Income Inequality exists. Setting aside my own beliefs about Income Inequality, and looking merely at what was said in the round, I cannot understand why income inequality is necessarily bad. Consider, a conservative might argue that the rich earned their money, or that it is the free market at work (yay!). Pro needs not just to assert the inequalities existence (stating a fact), but he must assign normative weight to it (goodness or badness) so that I, as a judge, can use it to value his impacts. Since I am not sure, in the context of the round, whether that inequality is good or bad, I am not sure whether it should be increased or decreased. Pro rests his arguments on reducing income inequality, but because I don't know if income inequality should be decreased, I cannot be sure whether Pro's case does any good.

But, even if income inequality is bad, Pro's solvency mechanism is weak. Con tells me that free education reduces the quality of education, which presumably means that workers graduating from such a system will not be as upwardly mobile because elite institutions will still be producing the best degrees by far. So, I see absolutely zero benefits from Pro's case.

Con tells me that he, in the present system, preserves the quality of education, doesn't break the national bank, and doesn't waste taxpayer funds. This is all positive offense on Con's part. Weighing nothing against something, I have to choose something. Thus, I pick Con.


2 round debates are horrid. Even though Con didn't rebut Pro, Con could've tailored his case to subtly refute Pro's points (as happened re: solvency) and Pro has no chance at a comeback. In almost all 2-round debates I've voted on, I've voted for the second speaker; they have a built-in advantage. I also dislike how Pro sources args (though it didn't factor into my vote). He should have in-text citations which correspond to the number of the exact link he's citing. Goo
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
Lee has asked me to read the debate, and to decide who should move on since this debate was a tie. I guess, as an impartial 3rd party, I can do it, so I accepted. I will try to have a decision in shortly.
Posted by Lee001 3 years ago
I wont post round 3 until I figure out what to work out
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Sorry, the Internet connection sucks and the fianc" accidentally took my phone
Posted by Cotton_Candy 3 years ago
Great a tie >_<
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
I'm favoriting this debate so I can vote on it soon. If I vote at the last minute don't get mad at me, it's not strategic, just a last minute vote.
Posted by Logical-Master 3 years ago
Even with the current system, a college degree simply isn't what it used to be. Often times, it ends up being worth less the value of the diploma the degree is printed on. That and I feel college is bit too theory intensive and not enough hands on real world experience. In essence, for most degrees, you end up spending four years of your life learning and doing things you will never apply again. At best, college is only useful as far as demonstrating your work ethic is concerned (i.e. high GPA). But even from that standpoint, High school is just as useful. For me personally, college was simply a stepping stone to law school. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Posted by Lee001 3 years ago
Send me the link when this is in the voting period. Thank you.
Posted by srhelsel609 3 years ago
College should be free!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Greg4586 3 years ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very hard decisions and a very close debate. Pro brings up a very good argument that free university education would help dispel economic disparity and therefore reduce poverty. What Pro should have done was expand on just how negative poverty is on society eg: Crime, drain on society, disease and sickness etc. If Pro did expand on this it would have been a very easy decision, but since he did not I can't allow it to affect my decision. Now for Con some of your arguments just couldn't convince me. For the 1st one you make an assumption that has a few issues. You assume that these colleges will be easy to get into even though they're free. You also assume that said people will actually go to college. With these issues at hand I just can't favor this argument. For your second argument you bring up that 36% of jobs don't need college education. Meaning that 64% of jobs which is a vast majority do. For your last two arguments they were good, but I found Pro's be
Vote Placed by Logical-Master 3 years ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: In essence, PRO tells us free college is good for the econmoy since we'll have more educated people. CON tells we're worse off since the value of education is decreased, that states would have difficulty funding such a system and that universities would have difficulty paying for stuff due to less financial resources. All in all, CON convinced me that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. As such, I vote CON.