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More warnings from across the pond

October 27, 2008

Two recent articles from Times Higher Education:

Universities could be funded according to their ability to produce employable graduates, as the Government seeks to measure their success in “up-skilling the workforce”.…

Roger Brown, professor of higher education at Liverpool Hope University, said funding of this kind would be “extremely dangerous”.

“All it would do is reinforce what we already see of students only wanting to study subjects that will get them an immediate job, often at the expense of subjects that might be better for their long-term development.

“Similarly, institutions will do whatever they need to do to get the money. It is a particularly daft idea.”


In a second story on the same page, one reads that at the University of Lancaster, at least, “[a] pro vice-chancellor with a successful career in retail management … now seems a much closer prospect.”

In the same issue,

Professor [Sir Drummond] Bone told Times Higher Education that it was common to hear the criticism that, for the UK, the recruitment of overseas students and the delivery of courses overseas was “just about making money”.

Asked whether he believed there was any truth in this, Professor Bone said: “There’s no smoke without fire, let me put it that way.”


In related news, from the aforementioned articles it is clear that English is no longer the lingua franca of the UK: while the use of “daft” and “fiddly” still inspire some confidence, in addition to “up-skilling” one sees “value-added,” “knowledge transfer,” “selling model,” and “capacity building.”

It is the End Times.


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