Newt on Higher Education
March 10, 2011 2pm On Monday, Newt visited the Iowa State Capitol to speak to a small group of students about the importance of making higher education more efficient in order to keep tuition down and reduce student debt. He suggested implementing new, innovative measures to achieve this, such as replacing traditional textbooks with electronic ones, as was recently done in public K-12 schools throughout Ohio.
Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the United States House of Representatives, discussed higher education with a small group of students in the halls of the Iowa State Capitol Monday.
“I used to teach at a state college in Georgia, and I’ve lived through these kinds of cycles, and I realize it’s a very difficult kind of time when you’re trying to figure out how to get to a balanced budget under the constitution and at the same time be able to maintain quality,” Gingrich said.
The former professor feels that institutions of higher education need to find ways to dramatically increase efficiency. “If you don’t want to have taxes go up and you don’t want to have tuition go up, we have to find ways to make institutions more efficient,” he said.
The public K-12 schools in the state of Ohio recently employed such efficiencies, Gingrich said, by replacing traditional textbooks with electronic ones, cutting costs from approximately $600 million a year to a predicted $80 million.
Gingrich feels these kinds of innovation are necessary to reduce student debt at a time when education doesn’t end at graduation.
“You’re gonna be in a generation where you’re learning your whole lifetime,” he said. “I mean, you look at how many jobs the average person gets, we need to find new, better mechanisms of continuing education, because you’ll literally be doing it for your whole lifetime.”
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