Friday, January 13, 2017

(I Don't Care That You) (Can't Get No) Satisfaction

This article at Spiked is talking mostly about universities in the United Kingdom, and it front-loads with some of the usual items about stupid trigger warnings.

But it does have a pretty important point at the end of the story, which is that a lot of this nonsense stems from the idea that a university's mission concerns the satisfaction of its students. If that's the case, then just give them the diploma and 4.0 they want and send them on their way.

If, on the other hand, a university decides to concern itself with the education of students, well, then, there will be times when they are not very satisfied. Which is not the crime that some university administrators seem to think it is.

1 comment:

fillyjonk said...

Yes, this. The student-as-consumer model is what's slowly breaking higher ed. If we are going to some kind of weird corporate business model with this, the students are actually the "product," not the "consumer" - the "consumer" is society as a whole.

I have a friend who likens a student enrolling in college as being like someone joining a gym instead of buying a movie ticket - you are paying for the privilege of going there and working (and hopefully being challenged), not for the privilege of being entertained.

I'm getting old but I find myself surprised of things that universities today do for their students that my undergrad school never would have done back in the late 80s. Not just silly stuff like some of the "exam week comfort activities" but also things like the dean automatically assuming the student who went to him or her with a concern is doing so not because they want to go over the prof's head, but because the prof is automatically so unreasonable that they can't be trusted to work out some issue with one of their students.

The consumerist mentality is a sore spot with me, as you might have guessed.