Across the English-speaking world a storm of words has been written about the apparently terminal decline in academic values and standards in today’s colleges and universities. Many observers argue that the intrinsic worth of higher education is being subordinated to a destructively exclusive focus on business objectives and the needs of the free market economy. This is happening across the globe and it appears to be an irreversible trend.
This provocative and timely book has two aims. The first is to report on the worldwide coverage of the collapse of academic values in higher education, and to explain why that collapse is a social and cultural catastrophe, not just in the USA and the UK, but also in Australia, Germany, France and elsewhere. The second is to show the relevance of this reality within the Irish context. Bearing witness to her direct experience of the corporate university as it currently operates in Ireland, the author suggests that it may be too late to prevent a similar level of academic bankruptcy in the Isle of Saints and Scholars.
Mary Gallagher argues that the inherent worth of knowledge and creative thought has been jettisoned in favour of its exchange value alone. She then explores in depth the implications for this new approach to education in third level education. What is lost? Who loses and who gains? And do we really want our colleges and universities to surrender the work of education to the business ethos and the profit motive?
Academic Armageddon will be thought-provoking reading for educators, students, graduates, policymakers, parents and anyone concerned about the role that third-level education should play in Irish society.
About the Author
Mary Gallagher has been teaching French Studies at University College Dublin since 1991, and has also taught at NUI Maynooth, the Dundalk Institute of Technology and several universities in Paris.