enterprise dispositif

Posted: February 5, 2013 in Academy

Through tuition fees and the rising pressures of the job market, students are ‘responsibilised’ and enticed to see their education purely in career terms. Teachers are meanwhile made to neglect their key task and turn all their attention to lucrative research. All intellectual engagements that are not directly output-oriented become increasingly phased out because they become practically disadvantageous. In summary, the audits entice academics to become entrepreneurs, thereby framing education and knowledge in terms of investment and profit and subsuming them under the excessive logic of capital. The fruitful relationship between teachers and students consequently degenerates into a service provider-client contract that forecloses alternative kinds of pedagogy as the ‘enterprise self’ becomes the dominant subject at university …

Peer Illner in the edu-factory.

The social awareness behind this thinking is of the most brutal kind, as are some of the possible consequences. The refusal to acknowledge either the intellectual or the social value of the subjects reduced to market seller penury suggests that this government has no wish either to consider, let alone support, the possibility that it might be valuable to understand the social world before legislating about it, let alone allowing that the study of subjects, and subject matter, outside the everyday might produce a more informed citizen. The brute fact is that this government knows that elite universities will continue to attract students to all subjects who will pay more or less anything for a degree in more or less anything because that degree – from that institution – has market value. So let those who teach – and wish to study – non-STEM subjects at less prestigious universities go to the wall. The inherent validation of privilege and social exclusion that lies behind this thinking could be described as breath-taking. But that would be to allow this government to take away the breath that might oppose.

Mary Evans in same.


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