Universities as bootcamps for profit

Not all economists are of the opinion that the role of the university is solely to serve the interests of employers in the so-called knowledge economy. Here, Brian M. Lucey and Charles Larkin write about the takeover of Irish universities by the industrial agenda, and the attendant corporatization of our places of learning.

‘Universities are being managed more and more in a mechanistic, Taylorist manner which is the exact antithesis of how a knowledge organization should be managed. Alas, such methods are attractive to government and funding bureaucrats and provide ample opportunities for academics to move from the coalface of teaching and research to administer and micromanage.’

‘… How have we ended up in a situation where the only representative body that will have a role in determining how universities are doing is IBEC? This represents the final capitulation of the government to the concept of universities as having an economic role only. IBEC has as much and as little role in assessing the output and fitness of the higher education sector as do Aosdana, or the ICA or the GAA. Universities exist for and to serve society, not just the economy.’

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