We Don’t Need No Education

Are higher learning institutions providing mind-broadening education, or propaganda for foreign governments?

Amidst the cheating scandals where the rich and famous get their kids into the best higher-learning institutions, and all the talk of forgiving student debt by the presidential candidates, maybe we need to be asking what these so-called institutions of higher learning are actually teaching. Should we even be sending our kids there?

In what sounds like a tip of the iceberg kind of story, the United States Department of Education has uncovered at least $6.6 billion in unreported foreign funding from the likes of China and Saudi Arabia to Yale and Harvard. I say tip of the iceberg because these are just two universities, and these are just the funding and the countries known so far. With funding like that, I wonder why they are not able to provide free tuition. How many other nefarious countries (God forbid Russia) are providing funding to American colleges and universities, and more importantly, what are they receiving in return?

If Congress wants to keep investigating stuff, why not turn their attention to how much influence adversaries (both economic and military) are wielding on these institutions, and how it is affecting the education of the students — as in, our future leaders.

In a related story, the United States has charged a Harvard professor, scientist, and department chair with lying about his ties to the Chinese government, while taking in millions from the US National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. I wonder who had access to whatever he was working on? I guess it should also be pointed out that two of his researchers were arrested and charged as foreign agents. One was taken into custody at Boston Logan International Airport with 21 vials of biological samples in his bag, you know, maybe heading back to China, and another “student” was also a member of the Chinese army.

Let’s get back to Congress. Do we really think that what President Trump did or didn’t ask for from Ukraine about investigating whatever the Biden’s did or didn’t do is any more important than investigating whether or not foreign governments are wrestling away control of our colleges and universities right from under our noses? That they’re potentially indoctrinating our students in an adverse manner, stealing our own research and technologies that can then be used against us? Again, and again, we, as a country, have a tendency to miss the forest for the trees on so many issues and threats. It’s a wonder that the good old USA has lasted this long.

So, are our universities providing a wonderfully indispensable education, necessary for our kids to make it in life, or maybe just a potentially lethal dose of thought control? Either way, it is woefully and inexcusably overpriced and more than just the exorbitant cost needs to be investigated and overhauled as soon as possible, before we possibly start graduating classes of Manchurian students, deep in debt to someone.

Read more essays in A Year of Critical Thinking