A new social contract: A recipe for higher education funding
فبراير 03, 2019
DOI: ISBN-13: 978-1795559591
This book proposes that a new social contract between governments and citizens is needed to facilitate higher education funding. The rationale for this new social contract is based on the lifelong relationship of governments and citizens that should be seen as a partnership between two partners. The book assumes that the relationship between government and its learning citizens extends beyond citizens’ acquisition of knowledge or completion of degrees and includes different periods of funding in which the two sides exchange the funding role throughout the lifetime of a citizen. The book proposes that higher education should be seen by governments as a public good due to the benefits gained by the general public in the form of higher income taxes paid by educated citizens throughout their working years. The book argues that if governments consider higher education as a private good and force learners to finance their own education, the benefit of consuming this private good should only stay with its private consumer, and may not be shared with anybody else. This means that governments may not have the right to tax those who paid for their own higher education, and may not share their assumed private benefits. This also means that the higher income taxes paid by educated citizens who financed their own education may not be justified.To explain the proposed social contract, the book has investigated whether the partnership approach and the three life stages of citizens (the learning stage, the working stage, and the retirement stage) can be used as a guiding rationale for a new social contract that supports full government funding of higher education. The book proposes that during the learning stage of a citizen, the government, as the financing partner of this stage, needs to pay the full cost of all learning levels. After the citizen completes the intended levels of education, the citizen moves to the working stage and starts paying the government partner a share of the partnership profit (income taxes) throughout the working life of the citizen partner. When the citizen partner reaches retirement, the government resumes its financing role through pension payments, old age security payments, or other kind of payment to help the retired citizen through retirement years.