This Would Be a Waste Even If It Cost Nothing

I read on the front page of the new (July 16) issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, in an article entitled “Obama Begins Rebuilding Academic Ties to Indonesia,” that “at the recent G-20 summit meeting . . . Mr. Obama announced that the United States would spend $165 million over the next five years on  programs to help strengthen higher education in Indonesia through educational exchanges and university partnerships. The two countries will also hold a higher education summit next summer.”

OK — $165 million is now just pocket change in Washington, but I can’t see that this expenditure will do anything to make Indonesian higher education better, how it would make life better in Indonesia even if it did, or what this will do for Americans (other than those who will get to participate in the “education summit,” of course).

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. He holds a B.A. from Carroll College (Waukesha, Wis.) and a J.D. from ...

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