In which we answer a question in a Catherine Bennett column

By higher education becoming a market, whose expansion, we learn, will be dictated by student choice – \”as students will be paying more in than the current system, they will demand more in return\”. Does this chairman of the Tate and former trustee of the British Museum believe that the ambitions of these institutions should also be dictated by customer preference?


8 thoughts on “In which we answer a question in a Catherine Bennett column”

  1. Bear in mind that a fair bit of the customer preference in question consists of a bunch of 17 year olds deciding where to apply, and even 14 or 15 year olds deciding which subjects to drop at school. That’s no reason to weight their views at nil, but it’s worth remembering that they are, often, gormlessly immature and, under the modern dispensation fomented by The Forces of Progress, almost entirely uneducated.

  2. …as students will be paying more in than the current system, they will demand more in return…

    I’m not entirely sure of why…Getting a degree is now the bottom-line standard of aptitude for loads of careers. If you’re keen to get them then you can’t withhold your custom; you’ve got no choice but to attend. To use the most hyperbolic metaphor imaginable, it sounds a bit like telling a local crack dealer that, yes, he can bump up the price but you’ll want a few more rocks to make up for it…

  3. And people want loads of different things from university: “skills” to placate future employers; a full-on transformation of their consciousness; no lectures before 1 so they can doze off last night’s skinful. What is the “more” they’ll be demanding?

  4. It seems she is far more concerned about the welfare of academics who teach courses that do not lead to jobs that can recover the cost of that education through the higher incomes the graduates receive.

    I spy with my little eye: Producer capture.

  5. Pingback: The Browne Report: Wholly Unholistic… « Uni Tunes

  6. Actually, Catherine Bennett’s piece is a perfect example of EXACTLY what Lord Browne was describing about his time at Cambridge. The wholly ad hominem, sneering, vituperative bile that was (and still is) directed at those who have been successful.

    She laughs it off , but she is as guilty of the ridiculously overbearing snobbery in her piece that she claims, in bitchily parsed scorn, is the reason behind Lord Browne’s report.

    It would VERY easy to imagine, faced with the sort of intellectually bankrupt venom on display here, that Lord Browne’s motives may well be, at least partially motivated by a sense of poetic jutsice.

    I don’t think for a minute that that was the case, but Ms Bennett provides the most compelling argument yet that the insular snobbs of Academia, and their defenders, are in for a LONG overdue review of their place in the world.

    Brava Catherin3 Bennett for living up to the cliche so magnificently. Silly Bint.

  7. every time you point us to the Guadian and its websites I find myself (naievly) shocked at the splenetic outpourings of their correspondents. But my favourite on this particular thread was an American who chose to criticise Sir Phillip Green because he is apparently “upper class”! But then the rest of the comments look equally well informed.

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