Challenges Facing Our Higher Education System

Higher education has been and will continue to be faced with many issues that impact not only the field of animal science, but really every field in the United States. In my blog post I am going to bring up a lot of the issues that higher education in the United States is facing then I will tie it into how this can and will lead to issues in my field.

When looking at higher education in the United States there are so many issues facing the system that it would be impossible to point out all of the issues. After doing a search of challenges facing higher education, the ones I believe that apply to my field are the following: rising cost of education, decreased state funding, lower world rankings and declining international student enrollment. First, the top two challenges tie into together because it is all about the money. Animal science is losing out on potential students because the cost of higher education geos up every year and there is no end in sight. The reason for the rise of higher education every year is because the state funding is always less every year, as well. Moving on, the next two challenges also tie together also. Since our higher education system is so expensive and state funding is lowering that means faculty get let go leading to the student faculty ratio to increase. This is a huge issue for animal science because if faculty get let go then we could lose a whole potential branch of animal science like poultry genetics. When we start to lose branches of our field then the rankings of our program start to go down across the globe. Finally, to tie in the final challenge I mentioned if our world ranking goes down then that would lead to less international students enrolling into U.S. universities. The lowering of international enrollment will shut out our potential to learn new viewpoints and new ways of thinking. This is only a few of the uncountable amount of challenges facing our higher education system, so we just have to hope for a brighter future for animal science and all of our fields.

For the future I believe that we as a population need to realize the true important factors of what we should focus on moving forward. There are so many people that want more money for themselves and less taxes on themselves, which I am also in the same boat. The only issue is the more money we do not put into taxes the less that our state schools are getting for education, which in turn is just making it harder for us to get out of the hole we dug ourselves into. Our education system is one of the most important things that our tax money can go towards because education is what shapes our future. Just looking at the agricultural program here at Virginia Tech, even though it is like this at our universities, it is apparent that our equipment is broken down and very old. The higher education system needs to be changed to allow our programs, like animal science to receive more funding to improve our research for everyone’s future.

4 Replies to “Challenges Facing Our Higher Education System”

  1. Thank you Cooper for your great post. I do agree with you that reducing the number of faculties will result in reducing the branches of the field and thus reduction in the knowledge and perspectives that we can receive. Also, as an international student, I do agree that ranking is one of the most important factors when looking for a school for continuing our education. However, I think solving the issue of student enrollment is pretty complicated because it is somehow affected by many factors.

  2. Thank you for the post. I have seen the opposite trend regarding international student enrollment in civil engineering. When I talked to a faculty about it, they told me that the department wants to have more international students since the bring more funding to the department and college in form of tuition fees. So, at least in the past few years here at VT, I have seen a good surge in internationals in my department. But again it could be different for animal science as you mentioned.

  3. You raise a great point, It is disheartening to see that the smaller departments of animal science disciplines (poultry and dairy) across the US are having to merge with broader animal science departments. Oftentimes when that happens students loose exposure to the unique facets of those fields as those faculty stop being supported as they are “artifacts” of the old ways. It is a shame to see our field loosing so much expertise.

  4. Thank you for your insightful post. I definitely agree that educating our generation remains urgent and we must do more to ensure that resources are not being taken away to the detriment students and that students are not left with a huge burden on their shoulders. It is sad to think about the higher education system being rigged and that many college who dauntingly have to take out college loans to finance their education will feel those financial pressures for most of their life. More has to be done to alleviate this burden but also ensure those who are investing in their education and students on a whole receive the quality education and experience they desire and deserve.

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