An article at the New York Times shows the way in which the economic crisis have exacerbated the trends towards privatization of public universities in the United States.  After reading the article, it is still to me difficult to understand the logic of public federal and state funding policy of financing private institutions in the current environment while public flagships  are receiving state “contributions largely flat or down over the last 15 years” which forces then to become increasingly private to cope.  A trend exacerbate with the current economic crisis.  In other words, the economic environment and public policy financing of higher education is leading to a rise in costs of public affordable options to access the university in a current context presently characterize by high levels of unemployment. In this context, many students of wealthier families increasingly look for public options as affordable alternatives which is use in the article to partially to explain the justifications for the raise of tuition fees while public universities are force to provide less and less  services and academic options for students.

Thanks to Daniel Araya for the link

New York Times By Paul Fain, Published: October 26, 2009:

SUSAN LI’S senior year at the University of California, Los Angeles, was fast approaching, and she was running out of time. She needed at least three classes to qualify for financial aid. But a week before classes began, she had registered for only one course. “They’re not offering the classes I need,” said Ms. Li, a history major. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”[…]

In this particularly hard year, in which university endowments have been hammered along with state coffers, federal stimulus money has helped most avoid worst-case scenarios. The 10-campus University of California system, for example, has received $716 million in stimulus funds to offset its $1 billion gap. But that money is a temporary fix. A quip circulating among collegepresidents: The stimulus isn’t a bridge; it’s a short pier.

This fall, flagships still had to cut costs and raise tuition, most by 6.5 percent or more. And virtually all of the nation’s top public universities are likely to push through large increases in coming years.

“The students are at a point of rebellion, because they’re paying more and getting less,” says Jane V. Wellman, executive director of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity and Accountability. [ read full here]

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