The Values of Higher Education

Before I got admission in Virginia Tech, my advisor asked me if I would get the doctorate degree. I said absolutely yes, I liked the program and I would like to be a faculty in the future. When I came here, I knew why he asked me that question. Some previous students enrolled in our program quitted the program after one or two years because they got “good” job (i.e., with good salary). It looks like they just need some transition time before they get jobs. As many of young generation people go for higher education, we should ask ourselves “Why do we go to a university to learn undergraduate and graduate education?” Most of us would say: to find a better job and to make more money. As opposed to generations of the past, it is probably unable to obtain the number of high-paying jobs that were once available for high school graduates today. Other common responses might be: to gain social and peer respect, to fit our social circle, or to make our families happy.

With education, students need to learn knowledge and skills. More importantly, they need to learn how to develop their thinking. Except for intellectual development and learning, moral, social, physical, and spiritual development is very important. Because of globalization, students also need to develop a global perspective. Hendrik de Wit mentioned internationalization “has become an indicator for quality in higher education” (de Wit, 2011, p. 39).



de Wit, H. (2011). Internationalization of higher education in Europe and its assessment. In H. de Wit (Ed.), Trends, issues, and challenges in internationalization of higher education (pp. 39-43). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Centre for Applied Research on Economics and Management, School of Economics and Management of the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, and Hans de Wit.

Leave a Reply