Education, education, education - that's the modern mantra of the soft-in-the-head. Education is supposedly a magical panacea to all sorts of woes, from economic growth to income inequality and welfare dependency.
Funny how ever increasing numbers of uni graduates did not save us from a recession, isn't it? Isn't spending on universities supposed to act as a multiplier on economic growth?
In the UK, the Labor government set the absurd target of pushing 50% of school leavers into Uni. They've gone a long way towards meeting that target, mainly by fudging figures and dumbing down entrance requirements.
However, there is a downside to this that no one seems to mention.
A huge number of students are now quitting uni in their first year, and never going back.
How much money has been spent gearing the universities up for all those extra students, who fail to progress into the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years of their degrees? How many extra buildings were built to accommodate a flood that turns into a trickle after a 6-8 month weeding process? How many extra administrators, lecturers, tutors and so on have been employed to cater for this horde, which evaporates as soon as it faces some serious study?
I am extremely sceptical of all attempts to force unnaturally large numbers of teenagers into uni. This is just one more way by which Gordon Brown exploded government spending to newfound heights, and another example of the profound wastefulness of tossing sacks of money at the pet projects of lefties.