New film examines the push to commodify higher education

Should higher education be a profitable commodity or a public good? That’s the central question in the documentary “Starving the Beast”. Filmmaker Steve Mims turns his camera on the complicated battle over public universities and comes up with a movie that might be dry, but also feels necessary, writes Stephanie Merry for The Washington Post.

“This is one of the country’s most important and least understood fights,” a narrator warns, and you can see why it’s so hard to grasp. The movie’s sprawling narrative requires significant mental energy just to tease out the knotty mess of interrelated causes and effects.

In essence, this is what Mims presents: Historically, public colleges and universities have been funded by the state because they provide a service to the citizens – not to mention a value to local economies. But in recent decades, proponents of lower taxes and small government have challenged the idea that states should be footing the bill. Shouldn’t these universities be making their own money? And, if they’re not, what’s wrong with them?
Full report on The Washington Post site