I heard on UK and US news that higher education is very high and a lot of students are in debt. In Israel here education is very cheap, because it is heavily subsidized by the government (Israel tries to be self-sufficient as opposed to other western countries because it doesnt have the liberal policies to attract brain drain like the western countries have). It strategy is to produce university candidates by their high school grades and IQ (psychometric) scores (those requirements are mandatory by top universities).

How would such educational policy work for countires like US or UK? would it be better for US to subsidize their top universities heavily and introduce higher educational requirements (such as IQ scores and better grades)? or would it have disastarous effects on the economy, following such a government policy that Israel has? I know that education is positively correlated with GDP.


First, I have to thank you for answering. I live in Israel the tution fees for top univesities (Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion, Jerusalem, Bar Ilan) is no more that \$10,000.. tution fees for harvard for one year only from what I heard is something like \$40,000 a month alone (https://college.harvard.edu/financial-aid/how-aid-works/cost-attendance). My question why wouldnt a government open the market competition for those univesties only to American citizens (that will bring costs down), and also subsidize them, to bring the costs to around 10-15k, that would be much affordable. In return, Harvard, could make higher requirments for its courses like psychometric tests and very high school grades. If it did that it would gurantee an educational self sufficiency and higher economic independence from immigration. Wouldnt that be preferable politically (assuming your perception is right wing) instead of being pushed into a tougher rat race with immigrants coming from abroad?

Last point to add, Israel also provides a lot of education for free in the army (Israel has conscription laws). It provides higher degrees for good studens who also performed well on their IQ test.

If Israel provides and believes that there are high returns on their student's educational investment by providing education at low cost (when subsidized) or for free, why other Europen countries dont follow? or is Israel wrong in their approach to education and higher economic efficiency?

Could a country like US and UK pursue educational self-sufficiency or would such a pursuit be a disastor?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the premise of this question is faulty. On what basis do you assume that university education in Israel is (1) more affordable than the US and (2) more affordable because of government subsidies? $\endgroup$ – rocinante Dec 26 '14 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Lol, cause I looked up. It is very cheap here. $\endgroup$ – XWorm Dec 27 '14 at 6:24
  • $\begingroup$ Your dismissive response doesn't address the crux of my question. If tuition is cheaper in Israel, on what basis do you assume that it's because of government subsidies? $\endgroup$ – rocinante Dec 27 '14 at 6:58
  • $\begingroup$ Facts. I didnt make it up that they are subsidized. Top universities are subsidized here! $\endgroup$ – XWorm Dec 27 '14 at 13:27

According to the OECD: Israel's spending per-student is low relative to other OECD countries. Given that countries like the US have both higher spending per-student and higher enrolment rates, it is not clear what a switch to heavier state subsidisation (both the UK and US already heavily subsidise universities) would achieve. Bear in mind that most of the best US universities privately subsidise talented students from poor backgrounds so that the highest fees are mostly bourne by the wealthy.

It seems that implicit in your question is the idea that Israel rations its heavily subsidised tertiary education by imposing more demanding entrance requirements, but it is not clear to me that this is true. The entrance requirements for elite universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford, or Cambridge are among the most demanding in the world. There are 4599 higher education institutions in the US that cater to a very broad spectrum of student types.

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