Eve of destruction?

9 03 2012

Why do so many people these days get their jollies contemplating the destruction of my job? Take, this guy, for instance:

I think what you see happening now with the massive open courses is going to fundamentally change the business models. It’s going to put the notion of value front and center. Why would I want a credential from this university? Why would I want to pay tuition to this university?

I don’t know…perhaps because you want more than a vocational education. Because you think you’ll learn more in a class with fewer than 10,000 people in it. Because you want to move out of your parents’ house as soon as possible. Because you’re interested in the humanities. [As far as I know, it is still very difficult to study the cello online.]

Then there’s this guy:

The high school senior who stood up at Mitt Romney’s town hall meeting here today was worried about how he and his family would pay for college, and wanted to hear what the candidate would do about rising college costs if elected. He didn’t realize that Mr. Romney was about to use him to demonstrate his fiscal conservatism to the crowd.

The answer: nothing.

Mr. Romney was perfectly polite to the student. He didn’t talk about the dangers of liberal indoctrination on college campuses, as Rick Santorum might have. But his warning was clear: shop around and get a good price, because you’re on your own.

“It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” he said, to sustained applause from the crowd at a high-tech metals assembly factory here. “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education. And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”

Daniel Luzer explains why this answer is, as the English like to say, bollocks:

Since 1980, the cost of public universities, adjusted for inflation, has tripled. And so if the state doesn’t fund the public colleges very well, as the former governor of Massachusetts might understand, students just pay more for college. There’s no “shopping around” and “going to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education” that will fix that problem.

Sign everybody up for MOOCs and taxpayers won’t have to foot the bill for anyone’s higher education and higher education as we know it will be dead. Force students to pursue the ever-elusive excellence without money and the effect will be the same. It will just take a little longer.



2 responses

10 03 2012
Susan Davis

Reblogged this on Learning and Labor and commented:
Comments on Romney’s comments on the business of higher ed.

12 03 2012
“But if you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out.” « More or Less Bunk

[…] guy who I quoted the other day suggests that: If you’ve got Amazon as an analogue for these massively open courses, there is […]

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