Europe Colleges and Universities

Austerity U: Preparing University and College Students for Precarious Lives

by Alan Sears and James Cairns

Almost everywhere you look around the world, policy-makers are introducing big changes to university systems and pondering deeper transformation. It isn’t surprising that these changes take different forms on campuses in countries as different as Canada, Britain, the United States, Chile, Greece, and India, but there are also important common themes in the change agenda globally. These include rapid increases in tuition fees, new models of university governance, new ways of teaching, a significant shift in subject matter, an attempt to depoliticize campuses, and major alterations in employment relations.

[Photo: Josh Curran/The Ubyssey]

Politicians, bureaucrats and business leaders are clamoring for these changes on the basis of three key claims about colleges and universities. They argue that the post-secondary system: 1) is not preparing students for the contemporary job market; 2) costs too much in public funds; and 3) is horribly out of date, particularly in the age of information technology. The combination of technological change, high levels of unemployment or underemployment among younger people, and the recent wave of cuts to social programs and working conditions (also known as the austerity agenda) seems to present governments a compelling case for moving very quickly to transform post-secondary education.

In the face of these calls for change, we cannot simply defend the system as it is or casually dismiss criticisms of post-secondary education. Many students are desperately anxious about their futures and critical of the education they are currently receiving in massive classrooms that feel more like processing plants than places of learning. The standard curriculum continues to place the knowledge and history of the elite layer of the population of European powers above those of indigenous peoples, people of colour, poor people, and other marginalized groups. We cannot deny the feeling many people share that universities are out of touch institutions run by a privileged layer who do work of limited social value at great cost.

Of course, this does not mean that the austerity agenda on campus is inevitable or that it should be embraced. Students have mobilized impressively against the agenda of governments and employers, ranging from mass struggles in Chile to occupations at the Cooper Union school of the arts in New York and in Britain, to the remarkable of 2012 in Quebec. These movements have expressed bold visions of the future on and off campus in slogans like “No to profit” (in Chile) and “It is a student strike, and a popular struggle” (in Quebec). They have won some important victories, such as the reversal of the planned tuition increases in Quebec.

These movements show us the best way to oppose the austerity agenda in post-secondary education, which is to develop a different strategy for transformation based on accessibility, democracy, decolonization, and a commitment to good jobs and equity-oriented employment. We can’t simply defend the university as it is. Nor can we resign ourselves to a reform agenda that will make the system much worse. We need to show that a better world is possible.

ID is good for China, India and Europe ...

2005-11-05 18:44:00 by jkgend

The more ID is taught in the US, the better it is for the rest of the folks in the world as ID will make the US less and less innovative and therefore much less competitive.
China already graduates about 10x more engineers than the US and most of the US graduates are non-US. As ID and other irrational thinking takes hold in the K12 schools, the non-Christian Universities will find it unnecessary to even consider most US students as they will be clearly unqualified to enter a place of higher learning. The Christian colleges will still be able to find students, but many businesses will find them unqualified to work for them as they will not have the in-depth background non-US graduates will have

Why Europe is unable to compete with US

2005-10-13 17:42:55 by --

Comparing EU and US innovation performance, the trendchart's authors come to the conclusion that the US are ahead in ten out of eleven key areas. To face the challenge, European research policy should slaughter holy cows such as 'networking', 'interactions with local environment' and 'attention to user need'. Instead, the authors recommend five key measures for the EU:
--give more support to flexible institutions doing high quality basic research ;
--differentiate between research/graduate training universities, undergraduate teaching universities and technical colleges;
--push back the trend towards increasingly restrictive intellectual property rights and the appropriation of research results;
--be more courageous when launching research missions;

Israel's R&D Capacity - a Promising Land

2007-03-16 12:50:19 by maturalist

Israel presents a unique blend of Academic Excellence, Scientific Innovation and Entrepreneurial Experience in basic and applied research through to the various stages of product development.
Israel's seven universities as well as many colleges and government research centers are leading international academic institutions in such areas as computer science and engineering, electronics and the sciences.
High-tech prosperity has also been a consequence of successful government policy through a range of R&D incentives administered by the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS) at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor

Re: study harder?

2003-03-16 14:18:16 by NCAA_sucks

On average div I football player from SEC conference generates $2mln each year in tv/tickets/merchandising rights and who knows how much publicity for his school. Let's assume he graduates and works all his life. That's $2 to $4 million in lifetime earnings. But what about $8+ mln that poor bastard earned his school?
Everybody knows that "student-athletes" from competitive conferences like ACC, Big East, Big 12 etc aren't real students, they are just plain athletes. In Europe for instance, colleges and universities hire professional players to play under their colors, pay them accordingly, and don't impose ridiculous academic requirements

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Speech at the Business and Professional Women's Club  — EU News
We know that Europe's top universities rely on its financing, and it's our goal to get many more companies participating in the programme. So the steps we are taking will have a very real effect on the women and men who participate in the projects.

European Commission Máire GEOGHEGAN-QUINN  — DeHavilland
We know that Europe's top universities rely on its financing, and it's our goal to get many more companies participating in the programme. So the steps we are taking will have a very real effect on the women and men who participate in the projects.

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