Stefan Collini

My word, here really is a surprise.

Man with cushy academic job complains about being made accountable to his customers.

2 thoughts on “Stefan Collini”

  1. He always was accountable but the customer has changed from being the State to being the Students. Previously the customer wasn’t all that bothered about quality and value because they weren’t spending their own money.

  2. Bit of a cheap shot, Tim. Collini’s argument, over this & other articles, is that Govt claims about making universities ‘accountable’ to their students are full of holes. I don’t think he’s arguing against being accountable, but against reforms that disadvantage teachers, students and the taxpayer who helps fund the whole shabang.

    Tim adds: Ah, you noticed then about the cheap shot?

    ” I don’t think he’s arguing against being accountable,”

    And I think he is. There’s a very good method of accountability that has in fact been tried. Scottish Universities, when Adam Smith was teaching in them. Students paid the lecturer directly for a term’s worth of lectures. Smith himself compares this favourably with the system at Oxford he witnessed, where all the money came from endowments and the teachers did nothing.

    Students borrowing to pay for courses strikes me as towards the better end than the govt feeding teachers unions money as we used to.

    In the medium term I think universities are dead anyway. They’re the next thing the net is going to kill. Post grad and research institutions will survive I think, but general undergraduate teaching might have 10-15 years left.

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