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Various reasons: the current university fees have thrown up a collective action problem. Other states can respond by starting to collect their own, or by upping the Numerus Clausus. Bremen and Hamburg collect fees for students who live outside of the states, which causes all kinds of misallocation (and seems like a class action lawsuit just waiting to happen, by the way).

State governance of higher education causes excessive dirigism (e.g. direct interventions in the curriculum of single universities for reasons of local industrial policy, or budget savings -- I've seen this happen in Berlin) which could be avoided if the federal government took over. It could be a liberalising measure in that sense.

Students, at least those whose parents have an above modal income (most) are highly and increasingly mobile at any rate. As evidenced by the increasing number enrolled in foreign universities. The state that educates them may not be the state that they work in two or four years afterwards. This will eventually cause a mismatch between spending and revenues.

On study fees - 3 states that have them are in the blue (out of 9) and 5 are in the yellow or red. Plenty of other issues with the map (at the height of the business cycle). But doing an investigation into spending on education would be worth the time and could clear up a 'yes it is' 'no it isn't' discussion. For a rainy day.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Tue Oct 21st, 2008 at 04:27:29 PM EST
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