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October 24, 2013 11:48 AM   Subscribe

"Future historians, pondering changes in British society from the 1980s onwards, will struggle to account for the following curious fact. Although British business enterprises have an extremely mixed record (frequently posting gigantic losses, mostly failing to match overseas competitors, scarcely benefiting the weaker groups in society), and although such arm’s length public institutions as museums and galleries, the BBC and the universities have by and large a very good record (universally acknowledged creativity, streets ahead of most of their international peers, positive forces for human development and social cohesion), nonetheless over the past three decades politicians have repeatedly attempted to force the second set of institutions to change so that they more closely resemble the first. Some of those historians may even wonder why at the time there was so little concerted protest at this deeply implausible programme. But they will at least record that, alongside its many other achievements, the coalition government took the decisive steps in helping to turn some first-rate universities into third-rate companies."
posted by MartinWisse (9 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also good: Christopher Newfield: The Counterreformation in Higher Education
posted by RogerB at 11:56 AM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


An amazing article. The satanic fuckstick that wrote this needs to have a special place in hell. Re: student loan repayments (through a tax on earnings"

The government’s official guide for students explicitly makes room for this possibility: ‘You must agree to repay your loan in line with the regulations that apply at the time the repayments are due and as they’re amended. The regulations may be replaced by later regulations.’ In other words, you cannot know what your repayment terms will be; they will be whatever the government of the day decides. This clause will be of considerable interest to any private financial firm considering buying a chunk of the loan-book......
posted by lalochezia at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Figure out what your goal is. If your goal is to make money, by all means, run it like a business. If your goal is education, then acknowledge that it's not a profit-based endeavor.

I don't look for a profit when I raise my children, and I don't spend more money that I have on them. The value generated in the process is worth the expense.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Figure out what your goal is. If your goal is to make money, by all means, run it like a business. If your goal is education, then acknowledge that it's not a profit-based endeavor.

What if your goal is to make money by selling a product that is disguised as a necessity -- education?
posted by cstross at 1:03 PM on October 24, 2013


Figure out what your goal is. If your goal is to make money, by all means, run it like a business.

If?
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 1:05 PM on October 24, 2013


Acute analysis; painfully sharp, in fact.
posted by Segundus at 1:43 PM on October 24, 2013


As a grad student, I often feel like the word neoliberalism gets tossed around a bit too blithely, sometimes as a bogeyman that explains all the grody bits of capitalism. But then you look at this neoliberal lunacy and you have to go "damn neoliberalism and its neoliberal logics."
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:11 PM on October 24, 2013 [3 favorites]


...an extremely mixed record (frequently posting gigantic losses, mostly failing to match overseas competitors, scarcely benefiting the weaker groups in society)

Sounds like an unequivocal success by the Neoliberal/Libertarian standards of today's CEOs. (Those standards being "screw everyone else you can while making as much money for yourself") But they may have trouble competing with CEOs in New York or Texas.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:16 PM on October 24, 2013


An excellent article. We should all be thinking of ways to reverse this decline in education.
posted by lucien_reeve at 12:51 AM on October 25, 2013


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