For some time now, the government has sought to reorient the work of universities towards supplying the skills demanded by business and commerce.This is happening here in British Columbia,Canada, and I greatly appreciate a clear articulation of the arguments against the practice:
Vocational courses have always had an honourable place in higher education. However, recent plans are not confined to the provision of high-quality vocational education, they are about accrediting employment training. The likely outcome will be to blur the distinction between education and training, and to lose sight of the purpose of what a university does.
After reading a second article "Specialist pleading" in The Australian about the overreach of experts into the realm of moral authority, I decided to further explore Furedi's work.
In his forthcoming book (October 2009) Wasted: Why Education Isn't Educating, Furedi discusses that purpose of the university and education( as opposed to training) that he addresses in the Guardian article: Education
regards the transmission of cultural and intellectual achievements of humanity to children as its defining mission.
As an educator, I find comfort in the sane and rational defense of the purpose of education.
Frank Furedi is a sociologist at the University of Kent.
I would like to invite Frank Furedi to my soiree.