Saturday, June 16, 2012

Arguments For Free Post-Secondary Education

1. Free post-secondary education is a student loan that the country takes out and gets more money back than it ever put in. The government will receive more money from income taxes on the resulting increased salaries and wages of graduates than it spent on the initial investment for free higher education. (Compared to high school graduates, college graduates have a 21% higher income and university graduates have a 61% higher income.)

2. All other education is free because education is a public good. If high school is free, so should post-secondary education. Previously, other levels of education were subsequently made free due to society needing more educated workers. It wasn't long ago when all you needed was a high school diploma to get a good job, now you need it just for minimum wage.

3. Canada's inequality has been increasing for decades, many organizations such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describe that increased access to post-secondary education reduces income inequality.

4. The OECD reports that ecouraging post-secondary education promotes GDP growth.

5. Canada has an aging population that needs to be replenished with a skilled and educated work force.There has never been a time where the need for a major investment in education was so urgent.

6. Education should be the first priority of any nation. Those that are educated are more likely to vote, usually healthier, make more informed decisions, and basically better citizens.

7. Removing financial barriers; there are people who can't afford to go to trades school or university; as a result they lose out, and so does society.

8. More students means more institutions. More institutions means more diversity and competition among schools, which will offer improvements in education outcomes.

9. If a middle-power like Canada is to continue to compete internationally it doesn't just need innovative education strategies, it needs to create a well educated work force to help grow its economy and compete with larger countries with more capital.

10. Those on the ideological right should support free higher education because it empowers the individual and reduces the likelihood of government dependence later on in life. Those on the ideological left should support free higher education because social progress, like all progress, depends on knowledge.

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