Saturday, December 02, 2006

Higher Education a Human Right?

SideLines, December 2006

Etsuko Akuzawa in the Asahi Shimbun (26th July 2006) reported on discussions in Japan about the current high cost of university (college) education, and the failure of the government to fulfill a 27-year old commitment to make universities free.

According to Usui of Kyoto Tachibana University, "If society paid for education, university graduates would feel a greater obligation to serve society".

I agree, and the present Co-op website is my own personal attempt to return something, not just to New Zealand but to societies worldwide, since I have been a beneficiary of higher education in four different countries.

Sato, of Ryukoku University also said that "The right to receive higher education is a basic human right...we should seek [to provide] free college education here in Japan."

Obviously, there are practical limitations to what different countries can provide, according to economic circumstances, but there is no reason why Japan could not provide a free higher education, instead of providing welfare for construction companies and using precious natural resources for unnecessary infrastructure.

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