IB-2004-G (March 2004)
Author: Barry W. Poulson
Several proposals have been put forth to ‘reform’ higher education in Colorado. Some of these proposals are in fact not ‘reforms’, but rather proposals that would increase public subsidies and strengthen the monopoly position of public institutions in higher education.
The only ‘reform’ that would increase efficiency and equity is ‘privatization’, in which direct subsidies are replaced by vouchers that students could use to offset tuition at either private or public higher education institutions.
‘Privatization’ would create a level playing field in which public higher education institutions would have to compete directly with private institutions. Only then would public higher education institutions have an incentive to improve quality and reduce costs of higher education. Colorado citizens would then have the choice to use their voucher to get the best education for the money.