Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Some people questioned what I said today, that we might be looking at a full-blown crisis in the education system with a few months. I think anyone watching the headlines cannot escape that conclusion: we are seeing schools closing, people laid off, educational systems cash-crunched, inc reasing talk of privatization, and desperate measures, such as the 'three year degree' floated in this Newsweek article. Plausible? Not really - Brainstorm calls it "the magical three year lunch", Kevin Carey says there's no such thing as a three-year free lunch, and Joanne jacobs emphasizes the cost savings. What savings? Here's a bracing list of per year costs (via Leiter). And the Times recommends British students face what amounts to a doomsday scenario: "double fees and let banks handle loans".

Meanwhile students and faculty are protesting "the massive re-orientation of education toward job training, privatization and the standardization of curricular outcomes mandated by the Bologna Process" in Europe, while in the U.S. Four faculty members were suspended following a peaceful protest over cuts ("Southwestern officials could not be reached to explain why they took this action. The college's spokeswoman was recently laid off and she has not been replaced."). Semi-serious articles are being published about selling the California State University to the University of Phoenix while a university president in Colorado is fending off suggestions that his state university be privatized. Meanwhile, schools in Hawaii, unable to pay salaries, are taking Fridays off. This is just the beginning.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Aug 18, 2022 07:02 a.m.