Higher education in Europe VS America

The authors of that report calculated the average out-of-pocket cost of higher education, based on five cost inputs—education costs, living costs, grants, loans and tax expenditures. Whereas the out-of-pocket cost as a percentage of the national median income is 53.28% in the US, of the European countries studied it ranges from 38.71% in England and Wales to a mere 3.95% in Finland.

Moreover, the Pew Research Center found that Americans between 18-34 primarily cite financial reasons for why they did not, and are not, pursuing higher education (p. 17).

It is perhaps not entirely surprising then that a 2010 study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University warns that “by 2018, we will need 22 million new workers with college degrees—but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million postsecondary degrees.” If this shortfall comes to pass, there is a good chance these jobs could go overseas, perhaps permanently, denying not only Americans of income but also eliminating the trickle down into the economy that their spending would provide.

While there are advantages to the American university system, such as having a large proportion of the world's elite schools, clearly if we're facing a gap that large there's something wrong with our higher education system. Indeed, since America's international economic competitiveness is dependent upon our primarily knowledge-based comparative advantages, I would argue that the disproportionately greater cost of higher education in the US threatens the success of our economy. Therefore, at least in terms of higher education, I think there is much evidence to support Hill's contention that European social capitalism is a superior development model for the 21st century.

Routledge Higher Education in Europe (Contemporary Higher Education)
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Higher education in European countries

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