In their eagerness to push through reforms, Vice Chancellors resort to emergency powers, creating an atmosphere in which dissent is a no-no and education the casualty
As the dictionaries tell us, and as every educated person knows, ‘education’ involves something more than mere knowledge, training, or skill. The ‘something more’ is hard to describe and harder still to evaluate. This is particularly true in our hyper-technological age, when there is nothing ‘mere’ about invaluable assets like knowledge, training or skill, together summarised as competence. That is why there is great ambivalence today about whether universities and colleges should impart anything more or other than competence. Most higher educational institutions either do not feel they need to, or are actually unable to do so. However, even elite public universities — institutions best placed to pursue the traditional ideals of education — are floundering. Most worrisome is the fact that the logic of their institutional position seems to make Vice Chancellors and other institutional heads part of the problem rather than the solution.
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