Academia and the corporate culture

I was struck listening to Rebecca Stott’s short piece on BBC Radio 4’s Point of View about the negative impact of corporate culture on academic life. When universities are treated as businesses, our work is indexed to bogus measures. Published research is now a deliverable, valued in terms of its citation impact only (it’s so much easier to count than to read). Faculty are good only if the numbers say they are. Students are customers and we continually survey them so we can tailor our products to meet demand. As Stott notes, in this new world, league tables emerge, every school and professor is ranked, and the end result is an erosion of trust. Yes, and we risk ending up with a university culture that knows the price of everything but the educational value of little. Worth a listen.

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