The Fate of Universities
University education used to be much more idealistic in nature, and derived from a perceived need to enlighten and ennoble, rather than merely professionalize. Today, university education is viewed much differently. It might not be unfair, in fact, to suggest that universities today are merely glorified vocational colleges. Gone is the ‘Ivory Tower,’ replaced by a set of capitalist imperatives that implore campuses to equip students with employable capacities and knowledge.
At Unemployed Professors, we value knowledge and learning of every kind, from that which seems to have no value or utility to the marketplace, to that which is eminently practical. It is worth noting, however, that our educational institutions, and especially the best among them, evolved out of a deep belief that the best undergraduate education is one that offers a well-rounded education, including the critical skills, analytical ability, and creativity necessary to quickly master any entry-level job. Additionally, these same capacities are valuable in all walks of life, including the non-professional. They are personally valuable because they help one lead the ‘examined life.’ Moreover, they are fundamental to engaging in a participatory democracy: they are the instruments that help individuals think for themselves, identify and denounce demagogues and tyrants, and assert their views effectively and compellingly in the arena of public discourse.
Divested of business interests, universities are also places where super-smart people can explore areas of inquiry that stimulate their curiosity. Not all of these may have immediate value on the market, but they can enrich human life by adding to our understanding. As soon as we start telling people what to know, and what to discover, we run the risk of severely constraining intellectual freedom; and, in the process, we think less, know less, and imagine less. Is this really the world we want to create in university?
When people want to get into shape, they go to a gym and they do a lot of exercises that their bodies never perform ‘in real life.’ But, despite the irrelevance of these motions to their daily routines, their bodies get stronger, and they gain in power and endurance. The same goes for the intellect. Rather than ask university students to change oil, bake apple pies, and trim hedges, we should test them intellectually in ways that strengthen their intellect. This will enhance their mental fitness, increasing their ability to learn any job.
If preparing for a specific career is your dream, then there are vocational schools and professional programs that cater to your needs. We need to fight for our campuses, to prevent the business world from capturing them, and reducing higher education to mere career preparation.
With that in mind, ask the team of academic professionals at UnemployedProfessors.com any questions you may have regarding their college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!