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University Education for Everyone

May 24, 2016

The idea of university for everyone is a controversial one. Typically, conservatives are suspicious of the government’s ability to improve society, so they prefer as little government interference as possible, individual choice, and market-based solutions. Because of this, they generally prefer private schools where parents pay full tuition without government assistance. Conversely, liberals see the role of government as a means to correct social and economic disadvantages within society, as a way to provide equality of opportunity for all citizens, rich and poor. Liberals see education as a right, as a benefit to everyone in society, so they prefer subsidized public education. More progressive liberals advocate free education. Of course, subsidized education requires tax increases or less government spending in other areas, so a solution to this controversial issue seems nowhere in sight.


Students: How about your opinion? Should the government provide free university education for everyone?

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Friends permalink
    May 25, 2016 2:41 pm

    In my opinion, i disagree with university education for everyone. Although universities cannot provide equality of opportunity for all citizens due to expensive educational expense, some systems exist for lightening burden caused by tuition such as scholarship, student loans and so on. Also there are two problems of university for everyone. First problem is vagueness of beneficiary. If free of tuition worked, the rich who don’t need to receive benefit also would enjoy university education for free. Economically, It is waste of tax. Moreover it requires tax invrease to even poor people. A lasting tax hike is another financial burdens as much as expensive tuition for impoverished people. Finally this results in ambiguity of the recipients. Second problem is decline of schooling quality. You might have heard about the free school lunch and saw lousy diet of that program. Like that the idea of university for everyone lead to a lot of limits. University cannot invite great professor, provide comfortable environment and support training programs for students. Therefore i oppose the fact that university should offer free education for everyone.

    • proftodd permalink*
      May 25, 2016 6:01 pm

      “Moreover it requires tax invrease to even poor people.”

      Not necessarily. The government has two basic choices: raise taxes or spend less. If education were highly prioritized, the government could reduce spending in other areas, for example spending on international vanity projects like the Olympics. Regarding taxes, the government has several options, some of which do not require raising taxes on the poor such as raising corporate tax. Moreover, the government could close tax loopholes, which typically favor wealthier citizens, and redirect the increase in government funds to the education budget.

    • Friends permalink
      May 25, 2016 11:35 pm

      Actually i don’t know about corporate tax and tax loopholes in detail. Thank you for informing about them !

  2. May 25, 2016 8:51 pm

    All people have the right to be educated. These days, most of developed countries provide all people with free education from elimentary school to high school. Why don’t many countries offer free university education for everyone? What happens if people have university education for free? Of course, it is good for whole society when people can get high quality of education for free, but education in university should be paid in order to maintain the high quality of university education.
    If people have free university education, the quality of education will be poor because professors cannot get high salary. These days, university becomes a business. In order to get smarter and more potential students, university tries to scout highly well-educated professors. That’s why the tuition of university which can provide high quality of education is higher than other university which cannot. In this sense, university education should be run by principle of market.
    Moreover, the government doesn’t need to force people who don’t want to be educated to take a lecture in university, because it is natural that too many students can make poor atmosphere of class. Also, not all students have interest in studying. For instance, people like athlete and musician, and singers need to train in the gym or on the stage rather than study in the classroom. Therefore, to improve the quality of lecture in university, university should accept students who want to study harder.
    Lastly, generally the contents covered in lecture in university are very difficult, so students have to study a lot in middle school and high school. However, if the university education is free for all people, there is no reason for students to study hard. Then, they cannot follow the all course since they are not prepared well as much as take the courses. Therefore, for all students, university has to teach easier contents in lectures than before. To put it another way, the quality of university education will be lower than it is not free for all.
    It is natural that all people want to be well educated. However, it cannot guarantee the high quality of university education because professors cannot get high salary, too many students can make poor atmosphere of class, and university has to teach easier contents in lectures than before for all students. In conclusion, university education should be paid to keep the high quality of education.

    • Cindy permalink
      May 25, 2016 10:14 pm

      I partly agree with your opinion. But I don’t think that free education means poor quality of it. The middle school education is free now, but it doesn’t mean that the education is crap. With enough subsidies, free education could be excellent.

  3. Cindy permalink
    May 25, 2016 10:44 pm

    I disagree with free university education. While education benefits the society, providing university education for free is not necessary for several reasons.
    The first reason is related with money. Lots of professors are needed because of various majors and courses, and they bring massive expenses to pay. I do not believe that the government could pay that all. It is possible the government increase the taxes for education, and it could make people resist for free education.
    The second reason is its necessity. People enter university for professional education which is optional. Some people might not want or need it depends on their situation. For example, many technical workers do not have to study in university. They may study in special institutions, but university is not necessary for them. University education is additional. People can live without it. Therefore, university education should not be provided for free.

    • Jennifer permalink
      May 25, 2016 11:10 pm

      Yes, the university education is optional thing. I agree with that point. Government doesn’t have to provide optional things for everyone.

  4. Jennifer permalink
    May 25, 2016 11:05 pm

    If university education is free for everyone, a true meaning of education can be disappeared. Nowadays, government provides essential education which is needed to live normal life to citizens. However, the university tuition is not free as the university is only for people who want to study deepen subject not for people just want to study essential one. Korea has recently experienced trends that thoughtless establishment of university and entering the university without any target of learning even though the tuition is not free. In this situation, if the tuition turns to be free, it causes such terrible result such as low quality of class and low support to other policy. Some people argue that there are a few students who can’t enter the university because they have financial problems; however our government already constructs such system called Korea Scholarship Foundation where helps poor students. Of course, existing tuition is too expensive for students to pay. Though, it doesn’t mean the tuition must be free, but means government sets additional scholarship systems or reduces the average of university tuition.

  5. Bob permalink
    May 25, 2016 11:59 pm

    University education should be opened to everyone. The main reason is it can literally give the equal chance of education. People didn’t choose their families or countries to born in, so there must be no inequality in basic things to find and establish oneself like study. One of the biggest problems in current education system is tuition of universities. In case of Korea, universities demand quite burdensome amount of money to study. There are also some social welfare services in education for the low-income, but those rarely cover tuition completely. As a result, students of low-income families need to do part-time works to cover the rest of tuition, and this usually interrupts studying, discouraging current and potential students from studying in college. Opened education can solve this kind of problems, and can attract more students including that kind of students. Talented students could be found, too. In case of financial issues of opened university education, it can be solved by investigating and punishing political corruptions. For example, in Korea, the Ministry of National Defense was found to take and use tremendous amount of money at nowhere related with the Korean military, and punishing them can solve some financial problems. We are all equal, and so the education must be.

  6. Corinne permalink
    May 26, 2016 12:35 am

    I don’t think free university education is a good idea. First, it will make the quality of university education low. Government is already offering some free education to all citizen from an elementary school to high school. They don’t need to control over all education of people’s lives. Because having a university education is an optional thing. Only people who want or need to learn more advanced curriculums have to get into a college. If the education is providing everyone, it will not be easy for all students to take advanced classes. So the classes’ level can be lower to accept all people. Another reason is that some people don’t want to get into a university. They may want to learn more skills or something else. University education is not what they want or need. They don’t need to be highly educated. In other words, it doesn’t have any necessity for some people. For them, going to college can be waste of time. Thus, I don’t agree with the idea of university education for everyone.

    • asdfgg permalink
      May 26, 2016 2:42 pm

      I agree with your idea, but the sentence “They don’t need to control over all education of people’s lives” seems to strange. Free education is an option. It does not mean obligation and it does not control the people’s lives. If people don’t want the free education, they don’t need to choose it.

  7. BMW permalink
    May 26, 2016 2:22 am

    I personally do not think that the free university education for everyone is a good idea because its quality will debase and tax burden will increase for citizens. Before I explain about the reasons, I would like to mention that different problems appear in different countries. For instance, in Korea, most of the students get into a college or a university not for deeper studies but for getting a better job. It is like a means for making their resume look fancy. I know that a lot of Korean Universities require high education fees but before looking at these problems, we need to think about the core problems such as reasons of needing a high education and the systems of society. The purpose of going to a college should be changed and if one really thinks that he wants the higher education and is too poor to afford it, then he should get help from the government. Going back to the point, I believe that university education means a higher education and for providing this, the colleges and universities need to have appropriate qualities. Sometime they need to be invested more for making higher qualities. Moreover, ‘free’ means that citizens should cover it up with the taxes and it sounds like we need to pay the fees in some other ways when the education becomes free.

  8. May 26, 2016 5:33 am

    Although I am dreaming of university education for free, I don’t support that it applies to everyone. The aim of university is to give students who want to study more a chance to lead their desire for learning wide, which is insufficient before university. It would be ideal that government offers free education to students like those. Nevertheless, everyone doesn’t have that desire, and offering free education for university to all people could cause social problems. First, to offer free of education fee, it needs much more money than now, which means people have to pay taxes in order to meet government’s requirement. It seems to be made only by the government, but practically by people’s hand. Also, even though everyone can enjoy free education, the number of universities that are capable of accommodating a lot of students would absolutely be insufficient. Rooms of universities as a place for learning can never go beyond the demand of the number of students, especially it would be obviously seen in Korea that has very small territory. Although rooms for student are solved, the quality of each university would be decreased due to excessive increase of the number of universities. In these sense, university education for everyone would have potential social problems in reality.

  9. Incredible permalink
    May 26, 2016 9:28 am

    Although free university education can reduce the burden of individual students, university tuition has to be charged on students because of three reasons. First of all, there are already various kinds of scholarship that are provided to support poor students. For instance, there are national scholarships on tuition and scholarships on living expenses from foundations. Students from low financial class can now enter university with the support of the government and foundations. Therefore, if the supporting reason is to offer tuition to the poor, there is no need to implement overlapping policy since scholarships are provided to ease financial inequality. Second, not all students need to go to university. People’s situations and purposes in lives vary considerably. Some students might not need university education and just want to enter right into the field of work. Also, there is no certainty that all students provided with free education will work hard on their academic work. It will be better to offer free education to those who really desire it for their dream and to cover their financial problem. Therefore, free education is a waste of budget so that government had better spend money to solve urgent situation. Finally, the policy is not persuasive to tax payers because it support unnecessary situation as mentioned above as well as increase tax payers’ burden. Countries in northern Europe mostly provide free university education. The governments tax the citizens 35% of their individual income. With this amount of tax charged, governments can offer university education for free. However, northern Europe has tried for a long time to construct this policy and the governments really guarantee the citizens’ welfare. The citizens satisfy with it and are willing to pay for such vast amount of tax. Awareness of northern Europeans and that of Koreans dramatically differ because Koreans think that they are not provided enough with a matters of welfare. Therefore, if free university education is executed in this situation, citizens will strongly resist because there other priorities that have to be solved instead of university education. In conclusion, there is no need to enact on free university education.

  10. jennykhu permalink
    May 26, 2016 10:57 am

    I strongly believe that university education should not be free to everyone. I think it is a kind of a lesson that the students have to learn that earning money on their own is necessary to get the university education. If we make the education for free it would be good to raise more talented individuals but it is also not be beneficial because of these reason. The public has to pay more tax to the government. Therefore, people’s lives will be harder to live. Even though they don’t make the tax higher than the country’s situation would go bad, however, there is a way that if the annual income of the member of the congress decreases. Also it is not good for the students who are talented can get disadvantages. If there are a lot of people in the same university it is harder to concentrate or get the lesson or use the room easier.

  11. red permalink
    May 26, 2016 12:21 pm

    I think free university education is good idea and some EU countries follow this policy. This manifests that the cost is taken charged by the government. The government is the subject to pay the tuition representing for students with tax, but there might be corruption in the government, which means that the tax is not distributed appropriately. That might lower the quality of University in facilities or farewell to students. It’s pretty rebellious, but I don’t trust Korean government. I guess every government has their corruption. Therefore, I agree the basic idea that University education should be free to everyone, but I don’t agree that the government should purpose this policy.

  12. ras7070 permalink
    May 26, 2016 12:54 pm

    I think government should not provide free university education for everyone. First, it is a matter of cost. Free university education can be waste of taxpayers’ money. Many taxpayers want their money to go to more important cause. But, free university education is not necessary for everyone. If government provide free university education for everyone, the citizens’ tax burden will increase a lot. Citizen include poor people. They can feel the huge burden, while high income people derive benefit. I think government should provide free university education by income of the family. Second, some people don’t need to free university education. They want to learn skills, and get a good job quickly.

  13. Lily permalink
    May 26, 2016 1:12 pm

    I think whether the university education for everyone should be provided by the government or not depends on the society. Not every sociey’s government has the same economic feasibility, which should be considered when deciding the university education for everyone. Germany, for example, is now offering the free education for students. Instead, the citizens should pay more taxes than the citizens in Korea do. They are doing this because they are affordable to pay the tax thanks to the high employment rate. However, Korea is still seriously struggling with the problem of unemployment rate which makes the people unable to pay the high taxes. If the free education is provided, those taxes should be payed by the upper classes but of course, they would not be pleased with it. Therefore, if the employment rate rises, not only the upper classes but the other classes would be able to afford the high taxes which will attribute to the free education. Seeing the current situation, I think Korea is not yet prepared for the university education for everyone.

  14. Fairy permalink
    May 26, 2016 1:14 pm

    Though many people complain about drawing more taxes, I think free university education is a good chance for the public. Most of all, every citizen can have a fair opportunity of education. There are a lot of people who are allowed to enter a university, but cannot afford university registering fee such as beneficiary of national basic livelihood, or public charge. Free university education can provide those people with a wide variety of benefits. However, one of the biggest problems is the burden of paying more taxes. For instance, Norway is now executing the free university policy. In Norway, people who earn much more than the average pay about 48% of their salary, and it is free to have academic studies from elementary school to university. Therefore, Norwegians do not feel the obligation of entering good university and there does not exist school prestige. To establish a better welfare society, free university education is needed.

    • Bingbong permalink
      May 26, 2016 2:49 pm

      I also think free university education is a great chance for the people. Education is important regardless of any other problems. This would be helpful for all the public, if we look further.

  15. Barbie permalink
    May 26, 2016 1:32 pm

    These days, many Korean students are struggling to pay an expensive tuition fee. For equal opportunities, government should give students free education. Education is one of the greatest way to overcome economic inequality and increase one’s quality of life. The poor are usually hard to get a high quality education than the rich. However, thanks to free education, the poor can have an opportunity to access the same quality of education as the rich in school. As Korean drama “미생” shows, there are many people who has a potential talent and intelligence but give up studying because of the impoverishment. To discover someone’s talent and give them equal opportunities, free education should be needed. In addition, many friends of mine express their feelings about their difficulties regarding academic and economic burden. They are usually hard to pay the fee so they drop the school and do part time job or take loan. These burden ultimately make my friends discourage from studying. Thus, if free education is ensured, many students will more focus on studying so that they can develop their academic ability to find their job. If that can be possible, not only our future generation can learn things more equal but also their qualities of life increase. In other words, it gives the government more benefit in long run in the aspect of cultivating people’s talent. Although some people believe that free education brings the matter of reverse discrimination, in fact, even a free market operating in a society with equal educational opportunities does not produce a just distribution of income and wealth. Therefore, we should continuously attempt to make a same starting point to give everyone a same opportunity regardless of class. As John Rawls said, ‘Only if everyone begins at the same starting line can it be said that the winners of the race deserve their rewards.’

  16. asdfgg permalink
    May 26, 2016 2:31 pm

    I don’t think the government should provide free university education for everyone. Of course the most significant reason is tax problems. If the government is going to execute a policy to provide free education, it needs money to support it. If someone gets benefits, the others have to pay it in the case of policy of government. However, not everyone pursues a high quality of education. There are people who regard skills to earn money as important than the education form university. They rather want other welfare policies for them because they pay tax to government for their convenient lives, not for the education to others who they even don’t know. In Korea, compulsory education is until middle school. People learn the basic knowledge to live forever for free until that time. I think that’s enough. If someone wants to study more, he or she should pay the proper price for the high education, and if the other doesn’t have willingness to keep going study, the person doesn’t need to go high school or university. Those people will get benefit if they pay to other things which he or she is interested in.

  17. blue coffee permalink
    May 26, 2016 2:46 pm

    I disagree with the idea that government should provide free university education for everyone. Because it mainly related to the quality of the education. The number of teacher is limited because they have to be educated more and pass the teacher certification examination. If free education would be provided, the number of students is more increased and the number of students in a class is also increased because supplying of teacher would not follow demand of it. Increase of students in a class is directly connected with the quality of education. It causes difficult to communication between a student and a teacher and one-way education by a teacher. Although free education provides chance of education for students who go through financial difficulty but they can find another way such as scholarship system.

  18. Bingbong permalink
    May 26, 2016 2:47 pm

    University With Many Opportunities
    I believe that all the people have a right to get education regardless of the wealth gap. In the University, I saw that my friends are suffering from the economic problem because of tuition. Like this, tuition fee is a huge burden for some people. Even if, they enter the university, they could not focus on their studying. They always would be stressful of economic problem and they might have to earn enough money as much as tuition fees, going to school. Like this, there would be some reasons that the government provide free university education for everyone.
    To begin with, in Korea, actually, there would be a gap between university graduates and high school graduates. Many parents impose their children to enter the university, because they already felt that there are different treatments yet, in the society apparently. Then, when one cannot go to the university because of lack of money, he or she could be frustrated in the society system that only the rich can survive, which could be the worst memory in his or her life.
    Moreover, University would give a lot of opportunities for students to learn about the ways to get along with various people. University has differences in the system with the middle school and high school, there are many people from different areas, having dissimilar culture. Therefore, people could understand the differences in other’s thought more than before. Also, In the university, there can experience many things that people cannot experience in any other place such as club activity and preparing festival in the university and a lot of presentations and debates.
    In conclusion, government should provide free university education for everyone in order to get a lot of experiences, widening their perspective and to do away with potential discrimination which might be occurred, between the rich and poor in the future. Keep in mind that equalizing educational opportunities will lead more equal society, narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, if the government look further.

  19. Tom permalink
    May 26, 2016 3:28 pm

    Should the government provide free university education for everyone? I surely think “Yes”.
    Although there are so many problems like tax, right to choose education, limitation of education for everyone and so on, all people have a clear right to accept the university education for free. Actually, government can control these problems i already mentioned. There are no questions in this debate that education is very important. If poor guy receive the university education well, he or she can get a more proper and valuable job. Providing free university education means giving opportunity to someone who don’t have much money or who don’t have ability to adjust in our society. Education will be the important light for their future life.

  20. anounymous28 permalink
    May 26, 2016 3:28 pm

    It’s unacceptable that the government should provide education for everyone. Someone does not need to take more advanced class in University. They can improve themselves not by taking classes but by learning skills and reading books related their interest and major. In our society, some of people can not afford financial burden of intuition fee. After graduating high school, they can make money for themselves and spend it for their needs, not education in University. A forced University education prevent students from experiencing practical side in society. Moreover, with development of technology, student can take home-schooling class. Compulsory University education is not needed for everyone anymore.

  21. angela permalink
    May 26, 2016 3:51 pm

    In my opinion, the government should not provide free university education for everyone. Although all the people cannot afford to pay tuition, that’s not to say there is also no need for all the people to get a university education. The reason for this is that all the people don’t need the university education. University is where we learn knowledge about a specific subject unlike elementary, middle and high school are where we learn knowledge about the basics. People choose the university from the necessity. In addition, if some people are unable to study or don’t want to study the university education, they don’t go to university. However, if the government executes free university education for everyone, people obligatorily should enter a university. It’s a waste of finance of the government because the government should be forced to finance the people who are unable to study of don’t want to study. It’s not efficient.

  22. Hani permalink
    May 26, 2016 8:10 pm

    I think it is unnecessary to provide university education for everyone. In Korea, government provide freely compulsory education until middle school. This compulsory education have given the equality opportunity of education. All of the citizens can get the same chance, and they decide to keep studying or not to keep studying in the meanwhile. Therefore, if government provides a free university education for everyone, it is hard to study for someone who does not want to study anymore. Also, it is a waste of tax. There are many other essential parts which needs lots of budgets. Therefore, if government provides free university education, it might occur some serious problems such as a lack of tax or increasing of tax.
    Of course, free university education will reduce the burden of students, also it can enhance the efficiency of training talented individuals. However, free education has lots of drawbacks, so government should make alternative and supplement with other policies like scholarship and establishment of national university.

  23. MintChocolate permalink
    May 29, 2016 11:51 pm

    Meanwhile, South Korea has used the university as a degree of ability and sincerity in school life. If a person goes to so called a good university, the student is regarded as a nice, sincere, smart and polite person. However, when it comes to a student who goes to a poor university, the student is thought to be a bad and unwilling person. For that reason, most Korean students study really hard to go to a good university. And someone might think that if the government provide free university education, the competition in Korea will be decreased. But I think it is not the truth. If government give citizen a free univ education, people will find another way to grade them, and the competition will go on for any reasons. In that sense, I do not think the freedom of university education is really needed.

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