I may be shooting in the dark here, but I wonder how much of the increase in college costs I just discussed can be attributed to the uniquely (?) American system of mingling research and education. As far as I know (and I may be wrong on this point), American universities play a bigger research role than do universities in other countries. It may not be stated explicitly, but most (if not all) U.S. universities see themselves as research as much as educational institutions. So to what extent is an an increasingly expensive research apparatus to blame for an an increasingly expensive college education? Given the prestige associated with research, I suspect that there’s even more pressure on faculty to publish and seek grants. That has to affect tuition…right?
I’m not entirely sure but I think British universities are similar to American universities and more and more countries are moving to the American model. Without the tenure system, British universities still place a heavy emphasis on research although the way they incentivize it for staff is not always straightforward. Where do you suggest the Americans should put their research centers if not in universities?