The quality of a university education depends on many factors. Among the most important are the quality of the incoming students and the quality of those elements of the university experience that pertain directly to the students’ development. This collaboration can stumble irretrievably when either of these 2 components is weak from the outset.
The essay at this link suggests that American universities are certain to be at a disadvantage in international competitions because the average entering student is so markedly deficient at the time they enter college. Especially interesting to me is the link in the essay to the demanding 2-year college prep schools that French students must attend as a prelude to entering the university. The examinations in France to enter the university exclude substantial components of the high school graduate population from having access to universities. That idea to me is eminently sensible but would be political dynamite in the U.S. where everyone is presumed to be capable of college-level achievement.