Yoda: Death of the University + RECAP

04 Education
Got Crowd? BE the Force!
Got Crowd? BE the Force!


Marina Warner

London Review of Books, 11 September 2014


What is happening at Essex reflects on the one hand the general distortions required to turn a university into a for-profit business – one advantageous to administrators and punitive to teachers and scholars – and on the other reveals a particular, local interpretation of the national policy. The Senate and councils of a university like Essex, and most of the academics who are elected by colleagues to govern, have been caught unawares by their new masters, their methods and their assertion of power. Perhaps they/we are culpable of doziness. But there is a central contradiction in the government’s business model for higher education: you can’t inspire the citizenry, open their eyes and ears, achieve international standing, fill the intellectual granary of the country and replenish it, attract students from this country and beyond, keep up the reputation of the universities, expect your educators and scholars to be public citizens and serve on all kinds of bodies, if you pin them down to one-size-fits-all contracts, inflexible timetables, overflowing workloads, overcrowded classes.

Among the scores of novels I am reading for the Man Booker International are many Chinese novels, and the world of Chinese communist corporatism, as ferociously depicted by their authors, keeps reminding me of higher education here, where enforcers rush to carry out the latest orders from their chiefs in an ecstasy of obedience to ideological principles which they do not seem to have examined, let alone discussed with the people they order to follow them, whom they cashier when they won’t knuckle under.

Read full article.

See Especially:

1996 GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information

2006 Forbes Blank Slate On Education

Review: The Uses of the University: Fifth Edition

Review: Universities in the Marketplace–The Commercialization of Higher Education

See Also:

Review: Big Man on Campus – A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education

Review: Consilience–The Unity of Knowledge

Review: Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

Review: Fog Facts –Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin

Review: Global Brain–The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

Review: Holistic Darwinism: Synergy, Cybernetics, and the Bioeconomics of Evolution

Review: Integral Consciousness and the Future of Evolution

Review: Keeping Abreast of Science and Technology: Technical Intelligence for Business

Review: Making Learning Whole–How Seven Principles of Teaching can Transform Education

Review: New World New Mind–Moving Toward Conscious Evolution

Review: Nonzero–The Logic of Human Destiny

Review: Reflections on Higher Education

Review: Scholarship in the Digital Age–Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet

Review: Serious Games–Games That Educate, Train, and Inform

Review: Seven Complex Lessons for the Future

Review: The Emerging Worldwide Electronic University–Information Age Global Higher Education

Review: The Hidden Wealth of Nations

Review: The Landscape of History–How Historians Map the Past

Review: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Review: The Work of the University

Review: Weapons of Mass Instruction

Review: World Brain

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Research & Development

Worth a Look: Books on Reinventing Education Updated July 2012


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