Is the US Losing the Talent Race?

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, that’s the implication of a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development:

Nearly a third of people ages 55 to 64 with college degrees are in the United States, but for 25- to 34-year-olds, the U.S. share is just 18 percent. China, in comparison, has just 6 percent of the global share of the older age group with college degrees, but the figure jumps to 16 percent for the younger generation. South Korea’s share grows from 1.4 to 5 percent in the younger generation. The United States also stands apart in terms of the cost of higher education. In the United States a graduate can expect to spend $70,000 in direct costs, compared with the OECD average of $11,000. Even in England, where tuition rates at most universities are set to nearly triple beginning next year, the financing structure does not place such a heavy direct toll on families.

Is there a solution?  Report author Andreas Schleicher, head of the OECD’s Educational Statistics and Analysis Division thinks so.

Canada and the Nordic countries have decided that “society is willing to pay higher taxes to support the future promise of society,” he said. “So far, those countries have done well—they have very equitable distribution of access to higher education and very few disparities in outcomes.”

You can read the Chronicle report here.

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