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Old 10-07-2010, 11:17 PM   #16
MichaelV
Edge User
 
when the education is a money making machine the concept is wrong. I am happy to live in Europe. I have 2x BSC, 2 x Master Degrees and one PhD and never paid a penny for my education, always having a scholarship. I never paid a penny for my textbooks as I found everything in my Uni library. I am paying all back now in taxes being a very high earner. I do not regret paying those taxes now. Education is not for profit but for enlightenment and advancement of the human kind.

Last edited by MichaelV; 10-07-2010 at 11:20 PM.
 
Old 10-07-2010, 11:18 PM   #17
MichaelV
Edge User
 
Why do you have libraries in America?
 
Old 10-08-2010, 12:11 AM   #18
jsfiller
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelV View Post
Education is not for profit but for enlightenment and advancement of the human kind.
Oh how naive you Europeans are. Don't you know education is all about teaching people how to make money? I hope the sarcasm is obvious. This is one of my pet peeves about American educational philosophy: it's all about preparing people for a career. It is nothing to do with creating better people.

And yes, we have libraries.
 
Old 10-08-2010, 12:59 AM   #19
alefor
Edge User
 
I am a proud graduate of the American system (1 BS, 2 Masters and 1 Doctorate). Most graduate students in the US pay no tuition and receive a salary in exchange for teaching. This is highly dependent on the field of study, however. I received plenty of scholarship money and paid little for 11 years of higher education in the great system in the US. Paying for my books was of no concern.
 
Old 10-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #20
MichaelV
Edge User
 
I think is only a small number of graduates who receive scholarships not a large one, any way this helps. Why your text books are not available on libraries? what about poor students that can not afford them? why their access to education is restricted. I can order here in Europe any book from my local library. If they do not have it they will bring it in 3-4 days and cost me max £1.50.
 
Old 10-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #21
jsfiller
Edge User
 
Michael,

Personally, I spent 10 years in school (6 at the graduate level). My parents were able to pay for my undergraduate education, but I had to pay for my graduate studies. I currently owe more than $70,000 in student loans, and I already paid off at least $30,000. I am an exception. My debt is greater than most people's, but it is not unheard of.

To get a better picture, you can check out this web site http://www.finaid.org/loans/.

66% percent of 4 year undergraduate students borrow money for their education, and the average student loan debt among graduating seniors is $23,000.
You can read the tables for graduate level studies yourself. I was personally surprised to see that 35% of PhD students take out student loans, and their average debt is $45,000. I thought that nearly all PhD candidates received free tuition and some sort of stipend, as alefor had stated. I knew this wasn't true for Master's level studies, but I thought it was for a PhD.

Poor people, especially at the undergraduate level, have many ways to pay for their education, although few of the sources cover all expenses. Libraries do have textbooks, but I, personally, don't really like using library textbooks. You can't mark them up like you can your own and there aren't enough copies for every student. But books aren't really that big of a problem, in my opinion. You can purchase used textbooks at significant discounts and now you can rent textbooks, although I don't know how much that costs. Also, you will generally have friends who follow the same degree plan, and so will take the same courses as you, so you can borrow or purchase theirs. Purchasing textbooks is not near the problem (in my opinion at least) as the overall cost of education. And I still consider the educational philosophy in American to be an even greater problem.

It isn't the poor who are denied an education. If they make the grades, they have multiple sources of funding. It is the middle class that gets squeezed out. They usually make too much money to qualify for needs based assistance have to take out loans.

But that's my experience and opinion. Alefor's is obviously different.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 05:25 AM   #22
donnaleeroberts
Edge User
 
I agree with this. It is not the high price of texts I am bemoanig here. I made peace with that long ago. I just want to be able to keep my etext as I would keep any book - even if if costs more to do so. If they want to have a etext rental program then develop a differential pricing scheme. But at this time I have no option to keep my etext. It has really limited the way I envisioned using my eDGe.

BTW - it does look like the EPUB format books in the eDGe bookstore do not expire. However, the majority of mainstream etexts (those from Cengage and McGraw-Hill) all do.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 04:50 PM   #23
MichaelV
Edge User
 
Access to educational information should not be limited by income. They are people that self educate themselves. This is why the concept of PUBLIC library exists. You should look at the ideas of the American founding fathers. The idea of education for profit and university as a money making machine is not there. You learn not to earn more but to enlight yourself. The fact that you may earn more living in a meritocratic society must be incidental and not a goal. I may sound too idealistic. But the state of American education is not something desirable for a nation. Run this recession scenario. Students are borrowing money hoping that if they have a higher degree they get a better job only to end up with impoverishing debts and no job prospects as employers are looking for experienced people. This is really wrong. And of course the textbooks should not expire. They should have the same life shelf like printed book. Or if volatile versions are offered, than their price should be significantly lower.

Last edited by MichaelV; 10-11-2010 at 04:39 AM.
 
Old 10-10-2010, 09:44 PM   #24
Eddy R
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelV View Post
Access to educational information should not be limited by income. They are people that self educate themselves. This is why the concept of PUBLIC library exists. You should look at the ideas of the American founding fathers. The idea of education for profit and university as a money making machine is not there. You learn not to earn more but to enlight yourself. The fact that you may earn more living in a meritocratic society must be incidental and not a goal. I may sound to idealist. But the state of American education is not something desirable for a nation. Run this recession scenario. Students are borrowing money hoping that if they have a higher degree they get a better job only to end up with impoverishing debts and no job prospects as employers are looking for experienced people. This is really wrong. And of course the textbooks should not expire. They should have the same life shelf like printed book. Or if volatile versions are offered, than their price should be significantly lower.
Well said.
 
Old 10-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #25
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelV View Post
I can not get this text book issue. it must be an American thing again. In Europe you get them free of charge from your college / university library. You already paid for your education once, access to information must be free. And our professors share their own produced textbooks freely to their students. It is a rip off for one of the most vulnerable category of society..
Not sure how that works, but the US system of making students buy textbooks ensures that used textbooks get re-used, rather than the university buying a new book every semester and handing it off to the students who throw them in the trash at the end of the term. Or if the U forces you to give the textbooks back at the end of the course, you won't have the option of holding on to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsfiller
Europe has a whole different take on this education thing. You also pay a WHOLE lot less for your education than we pay over here. I studied in Belgium and paid a total of $200 US for the entire year.
That has an incredibly pungent whiff of "too good to be true". There is no way that $200 is going to cover college textbooks and full-time instruction for a year in current dollars. You're either talking about a part-time study, something that's heavily subsidized by the govt (aka taxpayers), or a garbage school whose instructors work for peanuts.
 
Old 10-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsfiller View Post
Oh how naive you Europeans are. Don't you know education is all about teaching people how to make money? I hope the sarcasm is obvious. This is one of my pet peeves about American educational philosophy: it's all about preparing people for a career. It is nothing to do with creating better people.

And yes, we have libraries.
The greedy capitalists out to make a buck any way they can have produced far more advances in our quality of life than the well-meaning idealists have. Just in the field of medicine and the alleviation of suffering, I'll pit the accomplishments of Bayer, Pfizer, and Merck against Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer any day.

Altruism isn't self-sustaining. Greed is.
 
Old 10-11-2010, 02:21 PM   #27
Chubulor
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelV View Post
I think is only a small number of graduates who receive scholarships not a large one, any way this helps. Why your text books are not available on libraries? what about poor students that can not afford them? why their access to education is restricted. I can order here in Europe any book from my local library. If they do not have it they will bring it in 3-4 days and cost me max £1.50.
Pretty much everyone who pursues a PhD in math or the physical sciences in the US receives full tuition plus extra financial support, either through a teaching or research assistantship (which requires work) or a fellowship (which doesn't but is significantly harder to get), because the work they do is economically valuable.

English and history PhD's are another matter because there aren't as many buyers out there.

As for textbooks in libraries, that would be a serious issue if you have thousands of students taking calculus simultaneously (not unusual for a large US university). You can't possibly stock enough copies, and you definitely don't want people to depend on the book being there when it's not. Poor students can get government grants to buy textbooks.

Last edited by Chubulor; 10-11-2010 at 02:25 PM.
 
Old 10-11-2010, 02:47 PM   #28
borisb
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
something that's heavily subsidized by the govt (aka taxpayers)
I believe that's what the outrageous VAT is going towards
 
Old 10-11-2010, 04:31 PM   #29
jsfiller
Edge User
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubulor View Post
I'll pit the accomplishments of Bayer, Pfizer, and Merck against Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer any day.
Just as I was about to respond to other assertions, I read this. Enough said. What's the point of having a discussion with such a person? Unfortunately, it is a very American statement, and such values are precisely why I am so anti-patriotic.
 
Old 10-11-2010, 10:19 PM   #30
Chubulor
Edge User
 
I believe the traditional response when you have no argument for your position is "Oh, Chubulor. :sigh:"

But seriously, valuing good results over good intentions is no sin.

Last edited by Chubulor; 10-11-2010 at 10:22 PM.
 
 

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