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Battles over Education: Australia, China and Unsafe Universities

Dr. Binoy Kampmark

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Entering a university should be, to some degree, unsafe.  Away from the gazing eyes of parents, institutional structures for the child, the entrant faces, or at least should face, the prospect of something truly daunting: To think, to entertain discomfort, to see old ideas and presumptions die gloriously in the inferno of learning.  None of this is easy, but all of it should be encouraged. 

The modern university is, however, an infantilizing coddle of an experience, a managerial pit-heap, and a spreadsheet-directed mire of gobbledygook.  It seeks cash.  It has “alignments” with industries.  It embraces “Five Year Plans” which would warm the boilersuit dictators of old.  It hires the legions of public relations as a matter of course.  All this serves to encourage an absence of thought, the dolling.....