The View From Here – A completely new perspective on paying one’s way through university

Tom Henihan

It is ironic, that people who see no intrinsic value in education will spend considerable amounts of money to have their children accepted into elite universities.

Some people use the wealth they have acquired to genuinely advance their children’s education, sending them to good schools and exposing them to things of a cultural, intellectual, social and political nature so they can experience the world through a broader frame of reference and better contribute to society.

Others, having acquired wealth see no need for education beyond it being another adornment to enhance their social profile.

The latter group of wealthy ignoramuses seems to view the entire world as having only a shinning surface without the complexity of depth and texture.

Like all other things in this world, they see education, or at least its credentials, as just another commodity like an opulent house, fashion, cars and so on that can be bought for a price.

Sadly, they are right in believing that everything is for sale and that the idea of real merit is unnecessary because money is indeed the only currency truly in demand.

To this demographic, Google has further diminished the value of being knowledgeable.

Prior to recent revelations, that resulted in more than 30 parents in the U.S. being criminally charged The rich were safe with this charade until recent revelations resulted in more than 30 parents in the U.S. being criminally charged for allegedly paying to have their children admitted to elite universities.

They were safe, because extremely wealthy people are rarely questioned on the veracity of their credentials or do they ever have their purported expertise put to any genuine test.

Of course, the “elite” universities are also complicit or maybe we should hope so.

Otherwise, it would appear that professors and administrators are unable to tell the difference between gifted students and the duds whose parents paid to have them admitted.

What has happened to political institutions is now happening in universities and colleges: money talks… and talks and talks as it is not just the rich parents of indifferent students and agents acting on their behalf who are party to the ruse of fixed stats and bogus sports prowess: it appears to be the entire third level system.

As big money has undermined democracy all over the world, big money is also undermining education through institutions who sell enrolments to the highest bidders.

While buying one’s way into a university seems more prevalent now, the practice certainly isn’t new.

Giving the rich preferential treatment while ignoring the talents of the less well off, has been the norm for some time.

Even when Prince Charles entered Cambridge in the early 1970s, there was some speculation at that time that Charles lacked the academic marks to enter the university on his own merit.

And in 2006, there were questions around Jared Kushner and his brother being accepted into Harvard, shortly after their father donated over $2 million to the university.

However, the recent arrests of parents fraudulently having their children enrolled in top universities has stoked renewed interest in how Kushner and his brother managed to be accepted into Harvard

Parents breaking the rules because they want their children to have a good education may be forgivable: Parents breaking the rules because they want their children to look like they received a good education is fraud of a far more serious nature.

 

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