Will the UW lose its role in global higher education?

Even a Century After the Fall of the British Empire, Oxford and Cambridge Retain Their Roles As Global Leaders in Higher Education ….

 The UW has that role today as one of America’s great “private ivies.”  Will we retain our stature?

(Based in part of report by CHRISTINE AMARIO, of the Associated Press )  The US is  losing its advantage in the global talent pool to countries like countries such as China and South Korea that provide full support for higher education, especially at the level  of the most competitive schools.  England. the other leader in global higher ed is also falling behind as fewer Brits choose to attend college or go to European mainland schools that still have  “public” universities at low or no tuition within the EU.

This is an issue with huge effects on Washington state, a state where high tech industries dominate.  and where the UW ranks at # 16 worldwide among great universities.  For example,  Microsoft and Amazon depend on the global talent pool because our own talent pool is shrinking or not growing apace.  Eventually, this must mean that instead of those people coming here, the tech industries themselves will have to move.

People here need to understand that the UW is among a small elite of American universities, with the home of the Huskies ranking number 16 world wide and above all foreign schools other than Oxford and Cambridge.  These public ivies are at the center of the American problem  because that problem is  not just the numbers of our students, but the quality of their education.  The program for International Student Assessment showed American  students  ranking 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math. 

The issue has become personal for many of our citizens during this great recession.  In America, where only ~ 15% of the economy is making things, the need for good jobs is increasingly focused on education.    The touted Texas solution, making more low wages jobs, solves nothing as those jobs are not the generator of capital a global economy needs to compete. Who do you suppose the Bank Of America just laid off?  In the current bad economy, education is an even bigger issue.  While, college graduates can expect to earn 79 percent more than someone with a high school degree recent studies of unemployment show the economic disease is spreading to the educated class.  The B of A layoffs of people whose higher education likely was in business and marketing may never be replaced.

The US also has a problem with privatization of higher education.,  The U.S. had the highest tuition fees among OECD countries, with students expected to spend $70,000 in direct costs and $39,000 in lost earning while studying — an overall investment of more than $100,000, compared to an average of $50,000 across OECD countries.The only exception ot this is at the high and private end where the endowments of schools like Princeton and Harvard mean that is now costs less for a middle class student (at least one who can get in) to attend a private ivy than to attend the UW or Berkeley. 

For more on the AP article, go to the Huffington Post. 

For more on the issue of tuition and privatization at Berkeley 

For more on privatization at the UW and other prestigious American schools.