Not Taking It Slowly

Via Tyler Cowen, I stumbled upon this rather sad story:

In the United States, many lament that it takes students too long to graduate. In Germany, the School of Economics and Management in Essen is suing Marcel Pohl, for $3,772 that the institution lost in tuition revenue when he finished a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in 3 semesters, not the 11 that would have been expected,¬†UPI¬†reported. The university declined to comment. Pohl said, “When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn’t be true. Performance is supposed to be worth something.”

Most countries in the Western world are burdened with demographic changes that will put pressure on public retirement funds, as the population ages. Simply put, in the absence of a growth miracle, we will need to work more in order to cover our collective promises.The standard solution, unpopular but necessary, is gradually raising the retirement age. The quoted story suggests another option: having people graduate faster.

Not everyone can earn a master’s degree in three semesters, but surely Mr Pohl’s example reveals that very few should need eleven?

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