The Devaluation of Higher Education

by Carmen Elena Dorobăț

Government programs (such as subsidies and student loans) designed to inflate both the supply and demand for higher education have driven a wedge between universities, students, and employers. Like any other economic good, the value of a higher education degree is determined on the market, at the intersection of the subjective valuations and appraisements of those constituting the supply and demand of that particular good. The parties interested in these transactions are not just education providers and students, but also—or even primarily—employers looking to hire graduates into their companies. At least, that’s how things should be, with entrepreneurs at the forefront, driving and shaping up the content and quality of the education and training of their future employees.

But with the government interfering now for decades with this precarious balance, it is not unexpected to find that the essential link which allowed the market to work efficiently has been fractured. The result is that higher education degrees no longer hold any value for employers.

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