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The Knowledge for Sale: The Neoliberal Takeover of Higher Education
How free-market fundamentalists have shifted the focus of higher education to competition, metrics, consumer demand, and return on investment, and why we should change this.A new philosophy of higher education has taken hold in institutions around the world. Its supporters disavow the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and argue that the only knowledge worth pursuing is ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published February 10th 2017 by Mit Press
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Neoliberalism is undermining the values of higher education, according to this concise treatment by Michigan State University sociologist Lawrence Busch. Neoliberalism here is not, as a conservative Christian reader might assume, the liberal boogeyman who has hijacked the university and turned it into a godless secular factory for producing “Darwinist minions,” as (no joke) one student labeled my own. Rather, the neoliberalism Busch discusses is something more widespread (at secular and Christia ...more
This is the story of what has become of higher education—that an undue obsession with accountability and quantifiable prestige powered by metrics has turned universities into places which reify (at best) irrelevant or (at worst) potentially dangerous assumptions that can have a dramatic affect on public policy. Busch emphasizes that accountability and metrics have become philosophies in-and-of themselves to an absurd degree, to the point where what matters are calculable outcomes rather than out ...more