A problem in higher education, disguised as a solution.

  • A problem in higher education, disguised as a solution.

    March 4, 2019 By admin 0 comments

    Without a trace of irony, US politicians claim that the best way to fight the epidemic of gun violence, which costs 40,000 lives a year, is to have more weapons. Especially in schools, where it is argued that armed masters and guards protect the students heroically from each other.

    This fantastic mentality of OK Corral is not only a remarkable proposal for the safety at school, but refers to an underlying pathology that determines our approach to problem solving, namely to accept a long-term trend, the same mechanisms that cause them problems

    In higher education, this manifests itself in proposals for solving systemic and structural problems from the perspective of academic capitalism. A recent piece in the New York Times illustrates this mentality. The article supports a new funding program from Silicon Valley that replaces traditional student loans with income arrangements between students and their educational institution that, in the author’s view, could eliminate student debt.

    The idea is by no means original, but simply a return to bondage, where students pay the debts of the universities instead of the government. In particular, this proposal does nothing to reduce the cost of higher education or even to investigate the causes of student debt.

    What is even more worrying is that the proposal gives creditors a wide discretion to determine students’ educational fates. The author believes that the approach treats “students as investments rather than commercial cows”, but more accurately as commodities and higher education as an investment tool for private interests.

    Infallible academic capitalism?

    Faith in the infallibility of academic capitalism culminated in an article in Forbes in which the author, a professor at a US public university, advocated a rebirth of higher education for profit.

    He argues that “market discipline makes universities more effectively,” a disturbing statement by the recent collapse of the Educational Corporation of America (ECA) and the Vatterott Educational Centers as well as the cancellation of the debt of students on the value of 150 million US dollars schools have closed.

    As expected, the Court of Auditors’ failure relates to government regulations, which in his view are not only exhausting, but do not address public universities equally. This makes the rules in the words of the author “highly discriminatory”.

    The paper argues that a private university model with its profit order must meet the “needs of customers,” but provides no evidence that students are more satisfied in profit entities than their counterparts to win Instead, the profit motive is reflexively equated with better results ,

    Close, consolidate, collapse.

    The Governor of Alaska recently proposed cutting the public higher education system by 41%, which would eliminate the state’s only medical faculty. While devastating for the state, the cuts show the arrogant way in which we invest nationwide in higher education.

    Despite the endless onslaught of austerity, we are told that the problems in higher education to the stubborn resistance of institutions are due to adapt “covered” to the needs of a business, or to study the wrong choices of students Humanities if we more Need computer science.

    The implications of these policy choices and the mentality that guides them are amazing. With the increasing burden of state-to-state higher education on students, the increase in tuition fees has resulted in student indebtedness of $ 1.5 trillion. Debt has reached a record $ 166.4 billion despite the decline in unemployment.

    Another consequence is the decline in the enrollment of national and international students, who are increasingly unable to finance higher education, or foresee a scenario in which their massive investments will yield sufficient returns.

    The loss of this source of revenue and the attempt to close the financial gap by increasing tuition will only accelerate this race to the end.

    A joint study conducted in 2018 by Inside Higher Ed and Gallup reported that fewer than 53% of university presidents believe that their institution will be financially viable in the next 10 years, and nearly 30% predicted the closure of one Five Universities Next Year While universities are closing or collapsing at a worrying rate, this rigorous prediction leaves an even gloomier phase for our higher education system.

    Symptoms, no solutions.

    This crisis is not avoided by the introduction of private market strategies or vice versa. It is symptomatic of deeper questions about how we manage tax revenue, invest in our young people, and differentiate public from private companies.

    Although the defenders of academic capitalism are trying to regain the cloak of realism, their solution to any problem is to surrender to the mythical forces of a free market. Every time this mechanism fails, he thinks that this is due to a falsification and not to the mechanism itself.

    In a scene from Mike Judges Idiocracy, the lead man’s attorney claims that he received his law degree from Costco, and suggests he only enter because his father is a former student. What resonates with the film are the uncomfortable opportunities that arise in its ruinous society, where corporate culture permeates every facet of life.

    The film forces us to wonder what happens when we bring public and private companies together. Will our colleges and universities look like Google or ECA?

    The most pressing question is, why follow this path at all? This approach not only depletes higher education of its social and cultural importance, but also does not correct the roots of the problems it seeks to address. It is the problem as a solution.

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