Monday, May 15, 2006
Perogies at 3 Beaumont Road
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Steve Biko.
Today, I met with my Research Methods II group to discuss what we will do for our qualitative research – case study. It looks like we are hoping to focus our study on South Africa’s move towards the corporatization of tertiary education. Some of our ideas include: The access of education for disadvantaged students is decreased when considering profit and students as customers. The market friendly approach allows only those who are able to afford education to attend. The market transfers costs of education to families, private donors and sponsors to pay for education. Since globalization is driven towards increasing information and pushing market agendas, universities are only focusing on these international needs of technology and business. Even in the integrated world, there is a lack of women in these globalized programs such as technology, science and engineering.
Our Rationale (this is mainly our brainstorming for today):
University education is intended to be a public good. The government is supposed to build their human capital under conditions of a free and creative mind. Those educated under the system are anticipated to use their skills and innovation to become productive contributors to society and lead the country to economic growth and social equality. However, current realities for universities in developing countries are undermining equal opportunities and the freedom to decide on important research and teaching. Under strict conditions by international financial institutions (IFIs), governments are forced to ensure that their government fiscal deficits are low and therefore government must ensure that their public spending in public education is under their actual revenue received. Generally, deficits will lead to less public spending and therefore costs are transferred to students through higher tuition. Students and universities are dependent on private donors and alumni to sponsor the operation of the school which can lead to implications on certain aspects of chosen research or decision on career selection for students. The same principles apply to bursaries and scholarships and the increasingly competitive process. Developing countries, specifically, are trying to establish democracy and equality within their own societies and use universities as a starting point and model to address public interests for the country. There could be a direct relationship between the operation of the university and the development of the nation. Universities can end up with a narrow focus on economics and market principles and countries can deny the study of culture. It is important for universities to encourage the diversification of degrees. To fully develop as a developing country, increase equity of opportunity for all. Corporatization affects equity of education. It is important that the university, within this globalized environment, ensures that education is focused on promoting access to disadvantaged students and that females are encouraged to enter programmes which are priorities within the country. Internationally, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has been looking at proposals of making education a tradable commodity. It is important to follow these trends as it could lead to the disintegration of national tertiary education programs as developed countries attempt to deliver “branch” universities in developing countries.
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