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Ottawa Citizen: End our MultiUniversities

October 15, 2010

 

David Warren, of The Ottawa Citizen, concludes a series he is informally calling “Education, Need to Get our Government Out of,” with a suggestion that publicly-funded mass-market schools may not, in fact, be in the best interest of the public.

…The great majority of the universities — founded since the Second World War to bureaucratically process and credentialize a large part of the general population, as a matter of “right” and regardless of their intellectual capacities — are in effect “community colleges” or trade schools.

Many of the trades being taught are perverse and wouldn’t exist without further government subsidy (“women’s studies” for instance, to produce “professional” feminist agitators). But most are the commonplace trades, and the colleges only provide incredibly inefficient and ineffective ways to replace the older apprenticeship arrangements, while cosseting the young from the demands of the job market until they are thoroughly spoiled.

Proponents imagine that by picking up the job-training tab, the government is giving highly taxed businesses some sort of compensation against competitors in lower-tax jurisdictions, just as our socialist hospital system is supposed to pick up a tab that might otherwise fall heavily on employers.

This is bosh, but it cannot be demonstrated in a short space, beyond mentioning that services and standards will always decline when the customer is displaced by a bureaucracy pretending to seek his benefit. This is because the provider of each service becomes answerable not to the customer, but to the bureaucracy.

Publicly funded, “mass market” colleges are further defended because, in addition to providing job-search credentials, they are supposed to teach a minimum of basic “information-processing and communications skills.” The joke here is that undergraduates today are being taught in college less than what they would have received in a traditional high school. And even that, in turn, wasn’t for everybody; only for people who needed to become highly literate.

The mission of the universities — to be centres of true, humanistic learning — is contaminated by this welter of extraneous purposes…Continue reading End our ‘MultiUniversitites’ >>

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