VIDEO: George Will Gives The Commencement Speech Every College Grad Should Hear

From Prager University. This is spot on, and it hits on three fundamental deficiencies with respect to American higher education which must be addressed aggressively and soon if the institutions within the field are to be saved.

First, the government-inflated bubble which has incentivized too many marginal students, both in academic terms and in financial terms, to attend college. The student loan bubble is now larger than the housing bubble was and there is more student debt than credit card or auto loan debt. As Will notes, there are people graduating from college with, essentially, a mortgage and no house.

And second, many of the students at American colleges are getting degrees in what can only be described as trash fields. Virtually any degree with “Studies” in its major description is guaranteed not to equip its holder with skills the American economy needs and therefore, as Will says, students are not equipped to add value to the economy. Thus the debt run up to attain that degree is money wasted, and the student has been bilked out of both time and tuition. The fact that students are getting better grades and learning less further contributes to the adult-day-care quality of much of higher education in this country.

Third, the asinine political correctness and Robespierran witch-hunts which exemplify university governance in America make the academy a place thoroughly divorced from actual American society. The limitation of free speech and the assault on free association and individual rights in the guise of speech codes and diversity, together with the moronic “safe spaces” and fight against campus “rape culture” have created expectations on the part of college students that make them completely unsuitable to survive in the real world. Employers are screaming about the poor quality of current college graduates in terms of “soft skills” – how they’re able to get along with others, take orders and so forth.

It all adds up to a bad product being produced by our universities; a product which is getting worse by the year. Will is correct in skewering American higher education.



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