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Institutions of escapism

escrito por James Collins 19 junio, 2017

“Too much of what is called “education” is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.” Thomas Sowell

Perhaps I expect far too much from poly-technic colleges come universities. But then perhaps people expect far too much when they demand every man, woman, and Heinz 57 varieties of gender should go to university. Whether they want to or not. ‘Society’ believes it best to send all of our young adults to higher educational institutes and that’s that.

Maybe it would be best to simply refer people to libraries rather than universities. It might prove cheaper and more beneficial to our general intellect in the long run. Not to mention they might have access to actual worthwhile literature..

It’s the icing on the cake when much of the instruction of skills we would need to work in my particular industry are outsourced by Lynda.com (An online tuition database). It’s nice of the University to provide us with accounts, but I could just as easily pay for that myself without £27000.00 hanging over me. Of course that’s just for the tuition, never mind the lifestyle.

Truthfully, I’ve had more fun digging out earth for foundations, in the hot summer sun, than I have sitting through  some of the confessions of a Marx-a-holic lecturer; who never left university for fear of achieving something.  I was getting paid and I had responsibilities in the former and I just had a comfortable seat in the latter. So maybe it is the case, when nothing has meaning for post-modernists, that seemingly includes your choices.

So sit and listen or don’t. Just be sure to pay the tuition.

 

The current mass entry university system could probably be made redundant by online courses. That’s fairly evident to me at least, especially with some professors recording and uploading their lectures to YouTube for free. It couldn’t work for every field by any means, but some it absolutely could.

This is quite optimistic and doubtless there would be numerous obstacles and practicalities to address before such a method could be applied broadly.

But first let me clarify, I don’t think closing all the universities is either a good thing or the right thing. We need them. All our nations’ thinkers, scientists and engineers need that platform to boost them from good to great. It just so happens that we unfortunately allowed the ‘Bolsheviks’ to outlive the fall of the USSR in our own Western institutions.

This way you could select the kinds of skills you want to get without having to move somewhere and make it your entire life. You could feasibly apply for work in your chosen industry and continue to ‘study’ online in-between your regular hours. Much like an apprenticeship scheme.

The two years of university experience I have so far, seem to pale in comparison to the two weeks experience I spent at Pinewood Studios, on a blockbuster film. That wasn’t arranged through the University either!

Why not simply pay establishments to review papers per unit? If you wanted to develop your writing skills in essay form, why not pay a fee to have it reviewed? There is much more to this than I have begun to consider as of yet but the notion is there, but perhaps the conversation needs to begin with such thoughts: The university conveyor belt is outdated.

Education is indeed important, but not all fires can be put out by hurling more and more water. This altruistic demand to educate the masses might be genuine for a great many of the public, but the industry surrounding student lifestyle is the real driving force. There is so much money to be made of off students. In most cases they could get a far better deal by simply going out to work, accessing what they need online, say editing software courses, and not having to burden themselves with debt.

I see no reason why young people can’t club together on living arrangements outside of the University route. It just isn’t encouraged in our society. The adventure away from the family home is doubtless an important rite of passage and I don’t think we should try to rid ourselves of that either.

However, I believe there is a huge gap in the market to steal a lot of business away from universities and potentially reduce them back to actual places of scholarly insight. Maybe get rid of the far-left monopoly in the process.

  • James Collins

    Im glad you raise points of contention in my thought piece, I know there is something to it, but not quite enough without other points of view being introduced.

    I can only offer anecdotal insight regarding options for young people. My tutors have absolutely advocated for university throughout school and college. So much so that it felt forced. For the majority of my peers it was the path they were presented with, as the next step after schooling. I went to college first and the same rationale was presented there. My parents too, advocated for university, as do their friends for their children. I imagine most would, given that its now accessible to the masses.

    It is of course not compulsory, but it might as well be. Even if seemingly most students have little interest in anything but drinking they feel compelled to follow that route. Despite bars and clubs only requiring a proof of identification and not a student identification. My contention, is that it seems, at least to a lot of us enrolled currently, that the standards were dropped to accommodate the new masses.

    People who ought not to be enrolled anymore, who demonstrate minimal effort and attendance, still are. Why would a university turn away nine thousand a year? Is often something raised in discussions. We often feel our tuition fees are poor value for money, as though an awful lot seems to go anywhere but on our specific teaching resources and instruction. Particularly the somewhat biased allocation of recording equipment for our course and others.

    I watched a psychology professor talking about university students effort once. He made the interesting point that perhaps they might purposefully avoid doing the work required, as they resented being there and wanted to spite the parents who encouraged them. The parents in many cases support the students financially and its punishing to them if they’re children don’t yield anything worthwhile from the investment. I wouldn’t try to argue that being the case in a high number necessarily.

    I find it interesting to add that to the discussion however, because the standards between the courses seem vast. Mine for instance, is generally regarded as a ‘doss’ course when compared to others. We are rewarded generously with our grades and seem to do minimal work compared to others who never achieve anywhere near as high. To this I would add that I know my college was in the practise of raising peoples grades artificially. When reviewing my marks I’d been elevated somewhat, so that across the board I received the highest attainable grades in places, where I knew previously I had not. I suspected this was the case with the majority of the class. Presumably because funding came from government and figures on paper mattered an awful lot.

    I could be wrong here, but isn’t it the case that a great deal of jobs now require degrees whereas previously they did not? Im hesitant to try and speculate anything further with that line of thought however.

    I would add that my University course is entirely Media focused and has no shortage of marxists.

  • pvl

    Agreeing with part of your description, especially the fact that the industry surrounding student lifestyle is actually huge, nevertheless I disagree with the statement it is “the real driving force.”
    I think that nowadays students have got the chance of studying outside the traditional universities, basically as you describe by internet, saving money and time.
    Nobody forces them to go to the university. University is only an option, it is not a compulsory education. Besides many the best universities in all over the world are privates.
    So, in my opinion the question is ¿why students choose that option rather than others, maybe cheaper, despite they will finish their studies with a huge debt?.
    The only logic answer if we think that people are not stupid when they have got different options is because they spect their investment will be a succesfull, or at least better than the alternatives.
    And reality seems to give them the reason because, in general, people with university degrees get better jobs and earn more money than people without them.
    I know that American students have got a huge problem for repaying their university loans, but in my opinion that is more relationed with the specific kind of university career they have choosed (especially the humanities).
    A probe of this is that in Spain and the rest of the world, students of humanities have got many problems for getting job because there is little of social demand, just the opposite of science careers.
    Perhaps that explains why there are so many ‘Bolsheviks’ in Philosophy departments.