Idea: Preview

Relevance:     Universal
Funding of higher education; Administration of higher education

Section 1.
While a basic education is that which is minimally necessary for a person to be a moderately functioning citizen and worker in a complex society, we recognize that a higher education yields even greater benefits, both to the person and to their society. First, it makes one a well-rounded and more understanding citizen, capable of imagining and designing a better future for all. Second, it makes one a much more productive worker, capable of delivering more value to themself and to others. Third, it helps one be a better friend, parent, mentor, and coworker by developing in them a fuller perspective of life.
     As such, because we collectively value these outcomes, we find it worthy to fund the higher education of our citizens and permanent residents. This funding should be disbursed through a "higher education stipend" for each qualifying person in the amount of 10% of the GDP per capita for the first 10 years after the completion of their basic education––to enable them to become more productive early in life––and in the amount of 3% of the GDP per capita for the remainder of their life, to encourage their continuing education.

Section 2.
One of the most important aspects of gaining a higher education is that it helps one develop the ability to make big decisions with long lasting impacts. As such, the administration of the “higher education stipend” should be left entirely to each person, with the freedom to spend it as they prefer, whether that be on arts, sciences, professional training, living expenditures, recreation, or anything else. The only mechanism for regulating this stipend would be its disbursement being on a quarterly basis, to signify its special purpose and so that the recipient is not inclined to treat it as a living stipend.
     Furthermore, with the individual being empowered to select the educational institution of their preference, we should privatize all state owned or operated institutions of higher education. Thus, it would be the students who would be the true and ultimate deciders of which institutions and educational models deserve financial support by means of their own attendance and patronage, not a central government bureaucracy. But, of course, the students would be guided in their selection process by their family, friends, former teachers, and various private accrediting agencies.
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