Reuters blog archive
from The Human Impact:
Gurpreet Singh is a determined man. But he is an even more concerned father.
The 32-year-old investment adviser is leaving India and migrating to Australia. There is nothing new in that -- tens of thousands of professional Indians emigrate every year.
Unlike most of them, Singh’s reason for leaving is not the pursuit of greater economic returns, but a search for something increasingly perceived by parents to be lacking in India -- security for their daughters.
It was the gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in Delhi last December that jolted Singh, like millions of middle-class urban Indians, and awakened him to the brutalities women and girls face in this largely patriarchal country.
Since then he has been exposed to a torrent of daily news reports of the molestation, abduction and rape of women, and even more worryingly, of young girls, upsetting him so much that he felt he had little option but to fill in the Australian visa forms for himself, his wife and his three-year-old daughter.
from Chrystia Freeland:
If you doubt that we live in a winner-take-all economy and that education is the trump card, consider the vast amounts the affluent spend to teach their offspring. We see it anecdotally in the soaring fees for private schools, private lessons and private tutors, many of them targeted at the pre-school set. And recent academic research has confirmed what many of us overhear at the school gates or read on mommy blogs.
This power spending on the children of the economic elite is usually — and rightly — cited as further evidence of the dangers of rising income inequality. Whatever your views about income inequality among the parents, inherited privilege is inimical to the promise of equal opportunity, which is central to the social compact in Western democracies.
from Felix Salmon:
The tragedy of Cooper Union is endemic to most American higher education, outside a few community colleges; Cooper is just the special case where the blind rush to some kind of global greatness directly and explicitly violates the institution's founding mission. Now a fantastic report by Stephen Burd shows that it's not just Cooper which is becoming more expensive for precisely the students who can least afford it. Rather, that's happening across the US: aid which should be going to the poorest students is in many cases going to some of the richest.
The title of the report is "Undermining Pell". The Pell in question is Claiborne Pell, the Rhode Island senator who created the first grant designed to remove the financial barriers that prevent low-income students from enrolling in and completing college. The Pell Grant system has been growing fast, and reached $33 billion in the 2010-11 academic year, thanks in large part to the effect of the recession on poorer families' incomes, and the way that high youth unemployment has encouraged American kids to go to college.
By Jeffrey Goldfarb
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Former junk bond king Michael Milken has more leverage than ever. Three decades after mastering the art of raising money, the man whose indictment on securities violations brought down Drexel Burnham Lambert now trades more heavily in intellectual capital.
By Peter Thal Larsen
(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)
Steve Schwarzman is giving something back - to China. The Blackstone founder is contributing his name, and $100 million of his private wealth, to kick-start a scholarship programme at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. The programme may not be entirely philanthropic: China lost much more investing in his buyout firm’s initial public offering. But there will still be many beneficiaries if the scheme helps Western and Chinese elites understand each other better.
While student borrowing for college has expanded to record levels and 12 percent of student loans are delinquent, enrollment in U.S. public and private universities declined in 2012. The number of full-time students stood at 11.5 million last year, a 0.7 percent decline from 2011. Meanwhile, state and federal governments have been reducing funding to public universities. Schools themselves have increased their borrowing for capital improvements to compete for the best students. There are rough seas ahead for education; lower the sail and batten the hatches.
Moody’s Managing Director, John Nelson, explained in a recent report why Moody’s has switched to a negative view of the entire higher education sector. It is mainly a lack of preparation for the economic and institutional changes:
from The Great Debate UK:
You’ve got to admire the endless inventiveness of our politicians. Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun, they catch you out by coming up with an idea so bad nobody seems to have thought of it before.
Now the All-Party (or was it All-night Party?) Parliamentary Group on Financial Education for Young People has come up with the daftest idea I’ve heard since the previous Government’s idiotic Home Information Pack scheme, but which threatens to do far more serious damage. They propose, in the FT’s words, that “High street banks responsible for some of the worst consumer mis-selling scandals of the past decade will be invited into British schools to help teach financial education”.
from Expert Zone:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)
One of the more difficult questions I found myself being asked when I was a United Nations under-secretary-general, especially when addressing a general audience, was: "What is the single most important thing that can be done to improve the world?"
from The Human Impact:
When it happened two months ago, it shocked the world. Masked Taliban gunmen stopped a school bus filled with children in northwestern Pakistan, boarded it and shot 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head and neck as she sat in the bus with her friends.
Her crime? She was a campaigner for the right of girls to go to school -- an act strictly forbidden by Taliban militants who are still active in Pakistan's Swat Valley.
By Daniel Indiviglio and Robert Cyran
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.
The trouble U.S. graduates are having keeping up with payments on student loans is casting doubt on their value. If pricey education provided the hoped-for labor market edge, then 11 percent of student loan balances shouldn’t be delinquent. The proportion of debt in difficulties has surpassed even late payments among credit card users. Students may need better vetting.