OECD: spend more on higher education to increase jobs and tax revenues
The OECD have done a report on who participates in education, how much is spent on it and how education systems operate across different countries.
One interesting finding should inform the higher education debate.
At present, the total cost per student of full time higher education is $43,208 for a male student and $32,610 for a female student (including direct costs and also foregone taxes on earnings - the figure for male students is higher because women earn on average 78% of what men earn).
However, the total public benefit from a student is $138,526 per male student, and $114,899 per female student (made up of extra income taxes from higher earnings, "social contribution" and reduced unemployment payments).
So the net present value is $95,818 per male student, and $82,289 per female student. This is higher than the OECD average of $86,404 and $52,436. Further education generates similar value of $73,267 per male and £109,394 per female. The internal rate of return
on higher education is 10.4 and 10.1, and on further education is 13.6 and 22.2.
Therefore, the argument that the state "can't afford" to fund higher education is exactly and totally wrong - this is a money maker, not a money loser and borrowing to spend on higher and further education is a fantastic deal for the taxpayer. To improve the public finances, we should support greater spending on higher and further education, not massive cuts.