Scrap the universities?

If you ever feel like so much of what’s happening on university campuses today is a bunch of nonsense, you’re not alone and you’re not the first.

Back in 1987, American philosophy professor Allan Bloom unleashed a widespread attack on modern education.

His book The Closing of the American Mind argued that the university system was overcome by moral relativism… The book was an unexpected bestseller… “It may be politically portentous,” [Gary] Will wrote of its popularity, suggesting change was on the horizon.

Did that change occur? Nope. At least not according to acclaimed philosopher Roger Scruton in an essay “The End of the University” released earlier this month.

He laments that “Books are put on or struck off the syllabus on grounds of their political correctness; speech codes and counseling services police the language and thought of both students and teachers; courses are designed to impart ideological conformity, and students are often penalized for having drawn some heretical conclusion about the leading issues of the day”….

h/t Marvin

  • ntt1

    Don’t scrap them but adopt very strict guidelines for where public monies are spent in support. Enrich the STEM faculties and withdraw all funding of the soft scientology courses including gender warfare and anti colonization programmes let them wobble along on subscription fees only.

  • Chris

    Post-secondary education stopped being about getting the students ready for important positions in the real world decades ago. Now it is just another place where the radical left recruit impressionable kids who have zero real-life experience,

  • Norman_In_New_York

    It’s no shock that today universities are rated on the exuberance of student parties. This means that for dorm chugfests, students will go into lifelong debt.

  • To me the go to example is the British 11-plus system. It varied from place to place, Britain is not a monolith, but the general idea was that any and every pupil in what we North Americans would call public school took a test at age 11. That was effectively an IQ test and it steered the taker into one steam or another. (Not necessarily university stream, BTW. My father was one of the last pupils to take it and he passed with flying colours. He never went to university. Almost no one did back then. Which is as it should be. My father had a far better all around education than most university grads I’ve known, and I’ve known many. My mother is a tenured prof.)

    As so often with the left, the baby went out with the bathwater. Most people could agree that one test taken at age 11 should not have such a heavy influence on a child’s life. But anyone could at least potentially get a decent education, for free, in Britain, back in the day. Even failing the 11 Plus wasn’t necessarily a death sentence.

    They burned it down, and now it isn’t possible (last I checked) to fail a grade in public school in Britain. Standards are racist/sexist/classist/evil. Meanwhile the children of the elite go to public schools, of course, of course, of course.

    • Frau Katze

      The rich elites are never affected by this sort of nonsense. That’s why the pols keep passing bad laws and making bad policy.

    • El Martyachi

      BTW thanks for showing me The Mysterious Stranger. It was good… or something. I think other people would read your recommendations – like book of the month or whatever.

    • Here’s an example of what I mean by “failing the 11 Plus wasn’t necessarily a death sentence”. The whole aritcle’s very intereresting (Dr. D usually is); this extract is about 3/4 down the piece: “The Man Who Predicted The Race Riots.”

      “His own personal history would suggest some direct insight into the problems of the disadvantaged. His father was an unskilled laborer injured in the First World War and able to work only intermittently thereafter. His mother was the daughter of penniless Irish immigrants. His parents had 11 children, six of whom died in childhood. They lived in a small house in Manchester with no indoor lavatory (and not a single book). He was brought up in a place and in times when the next meal was not guaranteed to appear. Yet despite the poverty, theft was unheard of: everyone felt able to leave his front door unlocked.

      Through nervousness rather than lack of ability, Honeyford failed the examination, given at the age of 11, for entrance to the local selective, state-run grammar school, a guaranteed (and by far the easiest) route out of the slums. He recalls having been disappointed by his failure, but it
      was not the blow to his self-esteem that today’s educationists claim that all such failure must be—so that the principal goal of education should be the preservation of the child’s self-esteem from the slings and arrows of outrageous competition.

      As was the British working-class custom of the time, he left school at the earliest opportunity to find work, an office job that bored him. Restless, he decided to go to night school to get a high school education, and he then gained acceptance for teacher training. After receiving his teaching diploma, he obtained a B.A. by correspondence course and finally a master’s degree (in linguistics). Such a man is unlikely to wish to deny opportunity to others: and his experience led him to conclude that only educational traditionalism can offer the severely disadvantaged such opportunity.

      Though he failed to gain admission to a selective grammar school himself, he bitterly regrets the passing of these quintessentially meritocratic institutions, which allowed so many poor but talented children a chance to join the mainstream and even to excel in Britain’s open society. (This fact alone suggests his large-mindedness: how many people can resist erecting a general principle out of their personal disappointments?)” (Emphases mine – Mamba)

  • Editor

    What do you figure is the appeal of all the useless gender studies/social sciences programs? Is it just that math/ STEM is hard work and graduates are expected to actually solve real world problems, with math/engineering solutions that actually work compared to “feels before reals” social justice nonsense where there are no right answers, only different narratives. If so, the root of universitie’s problems is just plain laziness.

    • Guest

      ◔❧❧◔❧❧◔I RECEIVED FIRST DRAFT OF $13000!@ak6:




    • Frau Katze

      I agree. (Math, SFU, 1974). No hippies in my classes, but lots wandering around SFU.