I don’t work much in the university sector these days – partly because I can’t justify taking salary from kids who won’t benefit from the education ending-up £50K in debt and perhaps £100K down if we include the lost wages over three years and lack of work experience that might make them wanted more by employers.
Graduates all over the world are not much in demand. Even in China many become ‘Ant People’ doing non-graduate jobs and living in poverty. We intend to graduate half our kids – does anyone realistically think the ratio of graduate to non-graduate jobs is 1 : 1. I’m sure I could expose most university ‘records’ on the employment of their graduates as fraud through simple investigation – I know they were made up in one of my former institutions. I’m not sure any of my qualifications fit me for work, even as a university teacher.
Our institutions are now being run by managers who put bums on seats and look to get teaching done as cheaply as possible. They are lying about quality and he value of the certificates they issue. Academics who resist, even through routine union activities, are subject to considerable bullying. The case of Ian Parker, a man I knew as about as good as academics get, is current and can be googled up.
Managing academics is like herding cats, but that’s rather the point of universities – they aren’t businesses but rather part of cultural freedom, oddballs and inventive notions. I would dissolve them all into new forms, but this should be done to retain the good bits of lifeworld learning free from systemic regulation. We have to do something to curb our bureaucrats. Ian Parker’s case and too many others probably tell us it is too late for our universities. Goons have brought shame on Manchester Metropolitan University. If they were honourable people they would fall on their swords. Expect them to award themselves bonuses instead!