Public universities in the North Carolina are feeling pressure from outside sources and political figures to be more conservative. In 2013, Republican governor Pat McCrory said the state shouldn’t offer classes in gender studies or Swahili. He wanted classes to focus on skills and topics he feels employers seek out. Researchers at The Pope Center for Higher Education said low tuition rates distort the economic market and therefore tuition rates in the UNC system should be raised.
By raising tuition, student loans will be higher for students, and many people believe students will then be more likely to choose pre-professional majors which would please the more conservative leaders because those are the programs that provide return on investments.
I think that students feel pressure to choose safe, lucrative careers that will make their expensive college education worth it from a financial perspective. This pressure prevents students from pursuing what they are truly passionate about and want to study. While college is about preparing people for future careers, it is also about learning and gaining knowledge in a variety of areas. What if a student is interested in learning Swahili for pure learning and pleasure purposes? This class isn’t going to be available to them because more conservative leaders feel learning Swahili won’t earn them a steady paycheck in the future? I think there needs to be an emphasis placed on learning and not just careers after college, and that the more opportunities and classes available the better.
What do you guys think about classes being taken away and pressures to choose safer majors as tuition rises? Leave comments with your thoughts and opinions!