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Blogs posted by Edgaras Gudavicius

The last knob to make it all real

Posted on Mon 19 Dec 2011 at 11:17 by Edgaras Gudavicius

Dear FinSt followers,

In this last entry of my blog, I would like to summarize our two week experience in Vienna and address the last, fourth knob, that could serve as a factor of reality for our ideal financing systems.

But first, I would like to thank all the ESU and ÖH people involved in making this adventure a reality for us. We have spent a great time in Vienna, with wonderful people from all around Europe. Such an exchange, which lasts for two weeks, is extremely hard to accomplish, but You made it a reality :-)

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During the two weeks, we got to know the beautiful city of Vienna and quite a lot of beautiful people, who live there. We got to know ÖH and not only the national delegation, but also a lot of local unions around the city. We also got to know the higher education system of Austria, with its structures and financing mechanisms. Yet, in all of these parts we also got to discuss and provide quite some input on their respective topics. With the biggest contribution being our five page long paper on the key essentials of every financing system.

In one of my previous posts, I have already mentioned the three vital knobs, which could lead to an efficient financing system. We have also made a paper of what are the key essential elements of higher education financing. Now, it all sounds very efficient, sustainable and quite too ideal if we leave out one of the factors, which all the critics should have fallen in love with by now - Money. It is extremely easy for anyone in the financing chain to simply say, "Okay, sorry, we ran out of cash". Yes, it is very easy to do that when the backbone of a nation does not see that this is their public responsibility, or simply, their money. Their money, which ends up in various, often creepy, places instead of funding their daughters or sons higher education. The concept of public responsibility is as important, or even more important than the concept of public good; hence the later can never be achieved without perfecting the first.

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Therefore, I am introducing the last knob in my four knob scheme for better higher education financing - the level of public responsibility. With this level being all the way down, nobody cares about financing higher education, thus no mechanisms for efficient taxation will ever be introduced and there will never be enough money to get to our beloved public good. Instead, we will eventually end up with loans, debt, defaults and all kinds of 'crisis'. With this level being all the way up, people will realize the benefits that higher education brings to the society, will be fully informed and provide a huge grassroots push for efficient taxation and transparent distribution of funds to maintain higher education as a public good.

With that said, I would like to wish the best of luck to the upcoming Estonian FinSt Crew in the battle for a better tomorrow :-)

I would also like to thank all the readers and FinSt followers for all their feedback and dissemination of our blog posts. It brought unimaginable joy for all of us knowing that people read and discuss our blogs.

Over and out!

Edgar and the Austrian FinSt crew