Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Rethinking universities


Universities should only exist online (with a small number of exceptions like Oxford and Cambridge, which are needed to create an elite and provide a holiday camp for clever boys and girls). 

University lectures should be put online. Universities should be online. (Except Oxford and Cambridge and a small number of others where academics would be reared.) That would increase life chances, spread learning, reduce class discrimination and reduce student indebtedness.

Online lectures and courses already exist but it is not about online courses - it is about making degrees taken by distance learning have the same weight as conventional ones. In fact abolishing almost all conventional universities. It is about breaking the way education is misused to create unjustified stratification of society. Let universities be about learning not about tickets to get a job and let them be open to all regardless of brains or money.

Vocational training courses - such as accounting and business - should also be available online of course. I don't see why places that teach 'business' should be allowed to usurp the noble name of university but perhaps that is not so important as destroying conventional universities. These seem nowadays to be businesses, which provide their consumers with tickets to middle class jobs while, in the arts subjects, they also disseminate socially liberal or left-wing ideas.

1 comment:

  1. But we've had the Open University for fifty years, so to a large extent your dream already exists, Paul. A lot of material from Harvard and some US unis is now online free too.

    What I don't understand is - if some people in Britain are disadvantaged at getting into university - why have about sixty new "universities" been created since the Open University was set up in the late 1960s? Jobs for the boys is the only plausible explanation I can understand.