Thursday, September 07, 2006

Higher Education Policy - First thought

Original Article

The high higher ed cost is the main concern of general public. It is, therefore, the place to start for the policy.

A policy is not a vision statement. It not only need to have a good goal, it need to be practical, workable and efficient. And this is why 'a good government need to listen and feel what people feel and guide them with incentives toward a forward looking future. Missing any of the elements is a failure in the government.' The vision is the forward looking future while the rest are the guideline for practical, workable and efficient plan.

The high higher ed cost is the main concern of general public. It is, therefore, the place to start for the policy. A policy have to address public's concern to get support and move forward. To address this issue, we need to think about how the price is set in the first place.

As we all aware, to produce a product, it cost money. The price, in general, covers the cost, but don't have to reflect the cost. In free enterprise, due to competetion, the price are, in general, reflect the bare cost to produce the product with specified qualtiy except in the monoply or elite industries where competetion are limited. The elite industries, in general, do not have objective standards for measuring qualities of products and, because of this, a products' percetions are build on named brands that are established via costly advertising that establishes the financial barrier for entering these industry and limits the competetion in these industry. Because of the lack of objective quality checks, the cost and price are not tied to the quality but to the profit and cost of advertising. The idea is that once you produce the named brand, the quality is not relevent in the price scheme and consumer are paying for things with no qality checks. With limited competetion in the field, companies can provide costly packages with features that customer will never need while still enjoy good business.

The traditional higher ed industries resemble the elite industry in that the quality of products is not well specified. In efforts to support the quality claim, accredidation agencies use aternative measures that make sure institutions have enough resources to produce quality products. The problem is obvious, a well financed company does not necessary produce quality products. And more frequent than not, the errosion begin with well established companies since the survival is not seem to be in the scene. Because the accredidation is based on resources rather than the quality of the product, the establish of the resource become the necessary barrier in entering this industry even if quality product can be produced with less resources.

The fundamental to bring down the higher ed price is, therefore, establish objective qualities of the higher ed products. After this is done, the market will be driven by free enterprise spirits and the system will be supported by free enterprise. For example, if companies were using the result of testing services in hiring employee, potential applicants will pay for the testing fee. The testing statistics can be used to evaluates each institutions and helping students in making education choices. With the competetion, institutions are forced to customize their products of quality to fit students need at the lowest possible price. - There may be needs to regulate the testing industry??

The next step need to do is guide the society to bright future. From time to time, public can be blind or short-sighted. There could be important trainings or courses that will be over sighted by public aiming in pursuing their financial well-being. Some of these trainings may eventually get emphasied by employers if they find their values eventually. Others may only proof to be essential for the sacks of the society or human race. It is governments' duty to look into these area in behalf of the society. Since there isn't any interestes from free enterprise on these issues, this is where governments really need put their efforts in. Governments need provide real incentive here to guide the society to bright future.

Based on arguments in The environment!
  • The world of free enterprise
  • Clear labeling through standard test. Focus on result to bring the cost down
  • Provide alternatives for customers.
  • Promote the idea of flexible worker - with enterprises
  • K12 focus on attitude modling
  • Emphasise the importance of design/thinking instead of routine/procedure - research!
  • Promote the globle view of the world - promote forward thinking
  • Promote the idea of bright future
  • Research will still be done with support of government and private enterprice. The result should made available. More people can follow these researches and produces teaching material.

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