Resisting the Marketisation of Learning

Rob Watson, The Hechinbger Report, Apr 02, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

It's interesting. One of the predicted side-effects of treating education as a business was that the business would focus more on the customer. Though this sounds good in practice, in fact what has happened is that the new business-like education would determine that students don't have enough money, and that henceforth the customer would be the ultimate 'consumers' of the educational 'product', business and industry. And, as Rob Watson ponders, "I wonder how long it will be before Higher Education is swamped by an external inspectorate, like Ofstead, who checks a national curriculum that [is] designed to meet the supposed economic needs of the customer?" Ironically, with corporate taxes at all-time lows, it is business and industry that pays the least for education. But don't tell that to the people who assign stadium naming rights to the corporation that paid $1 million (instead of to the taxpayers, who paid $100 million).

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