Andrew Ross has written a fascinating, must read, article titled "The Global U Phenomenon".
"In the larger world of higher education, the distinction between onshore and offshore education – like that between private and public, or non-profit and for-profit – has become very blurry indeed................
..............................This is how global firms have learned to operate, by assessing and equalizing the relative return on their investments in various parts of the world, both in the world of real revenue and in the more speculative realm of brand-building for the future. University accounting departments have begun to juggle their budgets in a similar way. A deep revenue stream from a facility in the Middle East will be viewed as a way to subsidize unprofitable humanities programs at home (as is the case at one Midwestern institution where I inquired) just as an onshore science center capable of capturing U.S. federal grant money may be incubated to help fund an Asian venture considered crucial to brand-building in the region."
"For all the zealous efforts to steer higher education into the rapids of enterprise culture, it would not be hard to demonstrate that, with the exception of the burgeoning for-profit sector, most universities do not and cannot, for the most part, function fiscally like a traditional marketplace, and that the principles of collaboration and sharing that sustain teaching, learning, and research are inimical or irreducible, in the long run, to financialization after the model of the global corporation. Yet one could say much the same about the organizational culture of the knowledge industries...............
.....................From this perspective, talk about the “corporate university” is a lazy shorthand."
"In all likelihood, we are living through the formative stages of a mode of production marked by a quasi-convergence of the academy and the knowledge corporation........."
It is a very interesting read. Check it out.
Friday, March 14, 2008