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America, Still on Top

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1507
  • Category: College

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American universities currently do a better job overall at preparing students for the society. Vartan Gregorian in his article “America, Still on Top”, declares that one of the great strengths of U.S. higher education is that it grew by “informal design”. He mentions the 1862 Morrill act, which the states were able to found colleges by using federal lands. Also states created universities, junior city and county colleges. In this article Gregorian compare the universities in America with some countries especially China. He talks about the private universities in some countries and discusses the reason that they are not as successful as American’s Universities. Also he talks about the private universities in other countries that try to solve all the problems with money, but they are not successful. Also he tries to relate the quality of universities to the salary of the teachers. At the end he talks about the problem that American universities are facing with it right now. Although American public and private universities are the most expensive universities in the world, but they train the best experts in the world by having the best teachers, best policies for running universities and helping students financially.

In the United States, a whole system does not run the universities. Government does not have control on running all the universities. In some countries like Iran, government is the only one who runs the public and even private universities. In this case there is no competition between universities to be better than others. Also they are using the same method of teaching for many years and do not try to change it. Gregorian states that in communist societies like Soviet Union and China and most of Asia and Latin America, “a central bureaucracy” run universities. The problem is that those systems are unprepared for changing expectations. This is completely true. Today, people are more informed by accessing to the Internet in all around the world, so universities should be prepared to be up-to-date.

Students want to get the new methods of teaching and studying, but when the system is unable to change, the students won’t reach to their demands. He brings a good example for this case which is the universities in other countries see students returning with degrees from the United States and getting the best jobs, they begin to demand quality improvement in their universities but they fail. Gregorian mentions that “the result is a growing gap between expectations and reality”. This could be true, but which countries is he talking about? He wants to use logos here, but he does not mention any data and statistics.

One method of teaching which is common in American colleges and universities is online teaching and online classes. Online classes are very good and helpful for students who are seeking knowledge and do not have time to go to school because of working. This system is working well in the U.S. Some private universities in other countries tried to use this method of teaching, but they were not successful because the only thing that they were thinking about was money, not education. Gregorian says that some countries in Europe have online private universities which many of these institutions are “of questionable legitimacy”. He tries to use logos in this case, but it is not a good one. He does not tell us the name of the universities and also the name of the countries. He just mentions Europe, so his statement is not credible. But I agree with this argument. In Iran there are some private universities that offer just online classes. They get too much tuition from students, but the degrees that the students receive is not credible. When graduated students look for jobs, most of the companies won’t accept those degrees.

In America students after finishing high school can choose either going to the universities or to work. There are lots of universities that people can get into one of them. Going to the better universities requires having better GPA. In some countries all the students cannot enter universities because there are not enough universities, but they are willing to continue their education. So some low-quality universities are built up that Gregorian names them as “universities only in name”. He brings an example of these kinds of private universities in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. Also in these kinds of universities some people just want to consider as a student and get a degree and probably get a good job in the future. They enroll in these universities that have poor quality. This is a really good argument that he mentioned. This shows the difference in quality between the universities in America and other countries.

Paying good salaries to the professors in the U.S can have a positive effect on the quality of the universities in America, but it is not everything. Gregurian claims that: “Faculty is also an issue: In many countries, professors are poorly paid and institutions rely on temporary adjuncts, lectures and part- timers”. This is a good point. When the institutions in other countries rely on temporary staff, the quality of education will decrease compare to schools in America that do not have these kinds of problems. Again he does not mention the name of the country and school. He does not have ethics in his writing. He brings good examples, but they are not credible. I agree that teachers, who get good salaries, work better and students learn more and this increases the quality of the universities, but money is not everything. In some private universities in Iran, professors get huge salaries, but the quality of the universities are not good.

The reason is that the teachers are just working for money and they are not willing in teaching or they do not like their job as a teacher, so this can have some effects on the quality of universities. If teachers enjoy teaching students, then students study better and harder and this leads to improve the quality of the universities. This is one of the important reasons that universities in the U.S. are better than the universities in other countries. “Money, however, is not enough to build a quality university”. Students and good professors who encourage the students to study build the quality of the universities.

In the rest of the article he brings another example about China. He claims that “In China students at second tier schools have been known to pay extra to have their diplomas bear the name of a better university”. In this article most of the time he talks about China. We cannot decide about the quality of universities in all around the world by just comparing to China. Even he does not mention the name of the school in China. At the end of the article that I consider it as conclusion, he talks about the problem that America is facing it. He says in the past students came to U.S. to study science, math and technology and then they stayed, but today some other societies try to attract professionals from the United States. Now America should produce its own engineers, teachers, scientists and other professionals. In the whole article he did not use pathos which is like personal stories or anecdotes. He came up with just two logos that have some data in the first and sixth paragraph. The other logos did not contain any data or statistics. He could have brought some more statistics and data for his article. Also it was better if he used example of other countries beside China. In my opinion the writer is not credible for his examples because in the whole article he just used “in some countries” and “some universities” and did not name them.

One important thing that the writer did not mention it about the reason why American universities are better than the other universities in the world, is that in America students can use financial aid and loan. In my country, Iran, the tuition is lower than here, but students cannot use financial aid and loans, so some students quite studying because they cannot pay it. In America if someone really wants to study and tries hard and have good grades, the tuition can costs nothing for him. One of my friends whose name is “Saied Shahosseini” did not have enough money to study in a university in Iran, but now he is studying at a university in Texas and he do not pay tuition because of his high grades. American universities attract the best and more successful students from all over the world and that’s why America has the best universities in the world.

In conclusion, North America offers the most diverse and exciting range of higher education options anywhere in the world. With such a wide selection of learning opportunities, there is truly something for everyone, no matter what his or her ability. The universities have excellent options for students.

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