Nova Scotia is considering not letting students take out student loans if they plan on taking certain majors that traditionally have a higher rate of default than others. This would force students into programs that are more immediately employable, as many students could not afford to study programs they may wish to, simply based on economics.
This incredibly short-sighted idea may have the benefit of converting universities into trade schools, wherein a student emerges with a specific marketable skill to be slotted into a specific task somewhere. What is lost in this, of course, is the idea is that university is an institution dedicated to the learning of ideas, not of skills. The most important thing I learned at university was how to think. My major was French Literature, which I would imagine would be one not eligeable for a student loan. In that program, not only did I continue to mast the French Language, I was also exposed a fair amount of philosophy, which has helped shape the person I am today. My political and social beliefs were certainly influenced by the writing I was exposed to. During my stint as a computer science major, I got some task-specific theories about computing, but nothing general about life, which to me, was perhaps the most important part of my university education. Working as a programmer, I would count my sociology, history, literature course all as being far more useful even in my day to day tasks than any of the computer science courses I took. Why? Because each of those taught me how to think abstractly, whereas the computer science course taught me the syntax of programming. Indeed, I didn’t even learn programming habits in comp. sci. – I learned those habits in my creative writing courses.
(news article pointed out to me by Brishen)