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Anke Schnatz, Bjorn Paape and Iwona Kiereta
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Iwona Kiereta: RWTH AACHEN UNIVERSITY, Germany

Economics and Management, 2011, vol. 7, issue 1, 2-15

Abstract: As a commodity, education in general and university education in particular fulfils key economic, societal and social functions. A high level of education is imperative for high economic growth, cohesion and social peace within a society as well as for the professional success of an individual and his or her status within the social fabric. The debate on the introduction and abolition – and also the size - of tuition fees is an expression of the conflict between the goals of funding and of social fairness. In the search for solutions, America’s tertiary educational system is often cited as a comparative model or even as an exemplary role model for the necessary reforms. At first sight, the high level of tuition fees seems easily compatible with a continuously high level of university students. The objective of our analysis is to compare the tertiary education systems of Germany and the USA and thereby present the basic economic aspects of the current discussion. We intend to provide initial impetus for a further analysis which would examine in more detail the potential relationship between university financing and stratum-specific university attendance and would ascertain the extent to which personal financial contributions towards the necessary costs of a university education create and reproduce educational inequality at universities.

Keywords: economic aspects of tertiary education; education systems; university funding; university costs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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