Greatra Mayana

Career & Employment Opportunities

The value of public higher education


I came from a middle class family. We were
comfortable, but there were five kids in the family. There was the expectation that of
course that I would go to college. I could work a summer job and pay pretty much the
whole year in tuition, which was almost nothing, and books and room and board by myself and
the same for my four siblings. My father never had to pay anything. No one went into debt
to go into university…it was a public good that was the expectation.
That has eroded and, to me, that’s really unbelievable. That pact between the people
of California and the next generation, leaders, has been broken. Now, I don’t see it reversing,
but it should slow. The University of California is such a precious jewel in the state, it
must be preserved. It should be nourished. Look at a kid who graduates who is middle
class, upper middle class. The expectation now is that they go into debt. And why should
that be when they’re paying back to society the gifts that they’ve been given through
their education? We’re training the workforce not only of Californians, but people who come
from all over the country, indeed from all over the world; take working class and middle
class kids at the undergraduate and graduate level and turn them into trained scientists,
engineers, scholars. We have to convince not only the legislature,
but the people of this state, this is where their money should be invested and however
the pie is divided, that share has shrunk unacceptably and so that needs to be enlarged.
And that’s the message that I’d like to give.

3 Replies to “The value of public higher education”

  • @UC Berkeley @Nobel Prize laureate Randy Schekman credits the public higher education he received at @UCLA as the foundation of his success. He calls for more support for both undergrad and graduate students in this video. It's the same message he'll convey to state lawmakers on #UCGradResearch Day, March 12, in Sacramento.  #ucberkeley   #ucla   #nobelprize  

  • Totally and fully agree! An investment now in our students is actually a huge investment for our future economy as a whole. We need our UC system to thrive and to help sustain and rebuild the middle class.

  • UC President Janet Napolitano, UC graduate students and @UC Berkeley Nobelist Randy Schekman will take the message from his video to state lawmakers and Gov. @Jerry Brown  today on #UCGradResearch Day. 

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