The Pros And Cons Of Higher Education

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There's a lot wrong with universities the world over. Financial imperatives to run profit-making courses and institutions, and the instrumentalisation of degrees are two aspects of neoliberal accounting procedures that dominate the life of learning today. The downward spiraling of standards, in a self-regulating association of "peers" when mediocrities make it to the top, is not an unrelated problem. The instrumentalisation of higher education and the consequent dumbing down of learning lowers overall standards of learning, thereby allowing mediocrities and apparatchiks to dominate universities, and the trends become mutually reinforcing. Each country, region or jurisdiction has its own specific variations on this theme, but the general problem…show more content…
A recent commentator, a respected longstanding Marxist professor emeritus of economics, Prabhat Patnaik, has proposed that the "commodification of education" in India is an outcome of the increasing privatization of higher education. The solution proffered is, firstly, "a massive expansion of public institutions of higher education so that the tendency towards privatization (and hence commodification) is not just halted but reversed"; and secondly, "the removal of the middle-class monopoly over higher education" by bringing in "deprived segments" of society into higher education in large…show more content…
This of course is dependent on the nature of each institution, and in the longer term on the extent to which an authoritarian government wishes to exert control over private educational institutions, or on the ideological propensities, resilience or staying power of individual funders or entrepreneurs. These are all unsatisfactory non-solutions. Still, the argument that state provision is always better depends, as Marxists ought to know, on the nature of the
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