Higher Education under Attack

This article explores the expansion of higher education viz a viz the expansion of the world economy. With the stagnation of the world economy, the amount of money that universities received, largely from the states, began to diminish. To cope with this,  universities were privatised.  This meant that institutions of higher education were established as businesses for profit; public institutions began to seek and obtain money from corporate donors, intruding in the internal governance of the universities; and universities began to seek patents for work that researchers at the university had discovered or invented, and thereupon entered as operators in the economy, that is, as businesses. In addition, universities began to come under attack from a basically anti-intellectual far right current that saw the universities as secular, anti-religious institutions. These could be written off as one more aspect of the global chaos in which we are now living,  except that  universities were supposed to play the role of one major locus (not of course the only one) of analysis of the realities of our world-system. It is such analyses that may make possible the successful navigation of the chaotic transition towards a new, and hopefully better, world order. At the moment, the turmoil within the universities seems no easier to resolve than the turmoil in the world-economy.

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