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Higher Education and Global Poverty: University Partnerships and the World Bank in De ...

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Higher Education and Global Poverty:


I first became aware of and concerned about social stratification during my years as an undergraduate sociology major at Pepperdine University. Through many courses about sociological theory, cultural awareness, and inequality, I was exposed to the issues, and I came to a decision: I wanted to make a difference in the world. I decided to join the Peace Corps and ended up in Vanuatu, a country in the South Pacific. My experiences there deepened my interest in understanding the function of education in the process of a society's development. What I did not realize at the time, was that the value of my education could not be measured by a simple cost-benefit analysis because any value that I was able to add to the lives of the villagers I worked with was immeasurable. That is, because my education inspired me to help others, comparing the cost of my schooling against my lifetime earnings would not accurately represent the true worth of my education. Years later, I have come to realize that the value of an education lies in the degree to which it makes a social contribution.