Position of Two Opposing Arguments
From the economist article, two main opposing arguments are evident. It is stated that acquiring many degrees is a waste of resources (especially money). Contrary to this assertion, the economist proposes reduction of college fees so that many people can manage to go through higher education programmes successfully and that a positive return can be realized from these programmes both for students and the general public.
Let us assume that the second option (on fee reduction) is adopted. What would be the implication in terms of using education as a tool for competition? Wouldn’t we have many students enrolling for (cheaper) higher education programmes in order to stay relevant in their professions? At the end of any academic programme, the worth of the programme is determined by how well a scholar applies the learnt concepts in solving real life challenges. As this happens, new theories are developed which causes further generation of ideas in particular area of specialization (commonly referred to as contribution to existing knowledge or literature). However, if the aim is to compete in terms of the number of degrees one has (because of the ability to raise the lowered fees for higher education programmes), then chances are very high that students’ cognitive abilities would not be developed well, rather, a system of applying basic concepts for professional sustainability would be embraced by majority.
The common ground between the two ideologies is that in both, there is increased number of degrees awarded to successful candidates. This is a benefit for the public.
Nonetheless, when one acquires knowledge through specific higher education programme, there is a high chance that there would be effective contributions (from such individuals) to problem solving. This can only be realized when the costs of these programmes are made realistic. This is why organizations and states offer sponsorships to students.