Thursday, December 13, 2012

Literature Review #5


2)Kim, P. (2010). Evolution in the 21st Century Higher Education Ecosystem. In J. Sanchez & K. Zhang (Eds.),Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2010.

3) The article talks about the rise of new species of college in the higher education system. Kim talks about the recent technological trends and challenges faced by traditional institutions and argues that these resulted in the rise of new non-traditional colleges. These colleges, he argues, are different than the traditional university we know. They are flexible in their schedule so that they can attract non-traditional students, those with schedule conflicts. They also eagerly adapt technology in lecturing so that it will cost less.

4)Paul Kim is a professor at Stanford University. He is the assistant dean for Information Technology and CTO.

5)non-traditional students: students who have work, family obligations. These students are different in that they have conflicting schedules with regular classes offered by traditional institutions. So, they are attracted to for-profit or private universities which make it easier for them attend due to their flexible schedules.

evolution: the need to change for survival

“Darwin proposed the idea that organisms adapt and evolve through natural selection, creating particular ecological niches and eventually resulting in the emergence of new species”

This quote explains the evolutionary theory, which I implement to higher education system. The challenges, growing demand and lack of public funding, are overcome by change, which is brought by privatization efforts. The change eventually results in a new species. In the higher education sense, the new species is the ‘efficient university’, corporate in its ways, concerned with efficiency and numbers, rather than quality.

“A business or industry, as a living organism, often must evolve (i.e., to overcome or even leverage changes) in order to seek higher efficiencies and ensure its long-term sustainability” (Kim 5:04)

Change is constant. So, organisms must adapt to this change to survive. Here, Kim argues that organizations and the industries are the same way. The higher education system goes through a similar change and adaptation period to ensure its long-term sustainability.

7)This source is important because it deals with a similar topic to mine, specifically rise of new species in the higher education system.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Research Blog #10

The recent trend of privatization is radically changing US higher education system. Adoption of corporate practices present a structural change in the system, affecting the goals and priorities of universities. Privatization is the system's way of overcoming challenges. This paper aims to implement the theory of evolution to introduction of privatization to the higher education system. It argues that privatization was introduced to overcome challenges with regards to decreasing public funding and growing demand. In that sense, privatization represents the change higher education went through as part of its evolutionary process. Privatization, however, was overdone to the point that it took over the whole system, thereby losing its evolutionary character and becoming an invader. Adverse effects include tuition hikes, loss of autonomy by the academe, and lower quality education compared to traditional institutions.

Link to paper:

Haupt, Alexander. "The Evolution Of Public Spending On Higher Education In A Democracy." European Journal Of Political Economy 28.4 (n.d.): 557.
Jamshidi, Laleh; Arasteh, Hamidreza; Naveh Ebrahim, Abdolrahim. "Developmental Patterns Of Privatization In Higher Education: A Comparative Study." Higher Education 64.6 (n.d.): 789-803.
Kim, P. (2010). Evolution in the 21st Century Higher Education Ecosystem. In J. Sanchez & K. Zhang (Eds.),Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2010.
Kinser, Kevin; Levy, Daniel C.; Casillas, Juan Carlos Silas; Bernasconi, Andrés; Slantcheva-Durst, Snejana; Otieno, Wycliffe; Lane, Jason E.; Praphamontripong, Prachayani; Zumeta, William; LaSota, Robin. "The Global Growth Of Private Higher Education." ASHE Higher Education Report 36.3 (n.d.): 1.
Martin, Ben R. "Are Universities And University Research Under Threat? Towards An Evolutionary Model Of University Speciation." Cambridge Journal Of Economics 36.3 (n.d.): 543.
Meister, Bob. “Debt and Taxes: Can the Financial Industry Save Public Universities?”
NEA Higher Education Research Center.  “Higher Education and Privatization.”  NEA Update.  10.2 (March 2004).
Newfield, Christopher. “Reinventing Public Universities: From Funding Deadlock to Bootleg U.” Western Humanities Review 65.3 (n.d.): 6
            Rabovsky, Thomas. “Accountability in Higher Education: Exploring Impacts on State Budgets and Institutional Spending Patterns” Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory  22.4 (n.d.): 675-700
Weerts, David J.; Ronca, Justin M. "Understanding Differences In State Support For Higher Education Across States, Sectors, And Institutions: A Longitudinal Study." Journal Of Higher Education 83.2 (n.d.): 155.

Research Blog# 9

The visual does well to explain the current situation with regards to student debt. Students go to college so they can climb up the social ladder. With enormous student debts, however, they are tied down, unable to attain the welfare they desire.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Literature Review #4

2. Newfield, Christopher. "Reinventing Public Universities: From Funding Deadlock To Bootleg U." Western Humanities Review 65.3 (n.d.): 6.
3. The article is about American higher education system. The author talks about what he calls the 'broken funding model' of US higher education. He notes colleges' dependence on private contributions, which he claims puts all the financial burden on the students and their families rather than research sponsors and companies as some claim. He notes the overemphasis of money in the society and an unwillingness to invest in one's country on the part of the rich as the main reasons behind the fall of US higher education. Public universities, he argues, are doomed to lose their traditional character and mission because of their recent 'privatization'. He develops plans for two types of universities, Golden U. and  Blue U., which can offer cheaper education in the future.
4. Christopher Newfield is professor of American culture at UCSB. He has published numerous works on higher education and its effects on society.
5. Devolutionary Cycle: What he calls the situation of US higher education system. The cycle is as follows:

1-Falling state funding-->Focus on philanthropy and endowments-->More sponsored research, losing more money-->Larger tuition increases-->Lowered educational levels-->Less social investment for more diverse publics-->Austerity and unproductive cuts--> (back to) Falling state funding.

Gold U.: One type of university Newfield predicts to exist in the future. This university exists solely because of the grand research sponsors it has. Existing through research, however, doesn't mean it will give high quality or cheaper education. 
Q1 "
U.S. public universities have locked themselves into a funding model that had been slashing public contributions off and on for thirty years and has forced
public universities towards an ever-growing dependence on private funds.
This funding model rests on (though is not limited to) the "high tuition / high
aid" paradigm, in which tuition is to be pushed up rapidly—it's now between
$15,000 to $20,000 for in-state students at many leading public universities—
with offsets for needy students that come through financial aid, and a
vast pool of student loans whose total volume last year surpassed the country's
ggregate credit card debt” (6).

University dependence on private funding has been a long process. Facing flat/falling public funding, universities increased tuition to make up the loss. Not shying away from investment, of course, they spend recklessly. Lax budgets strain their finances further, causing higher tuition rates as a result. Students, unable to pay for school out of pocket, are then forced to take on enormous loans to attend college, all for a chance climb up the social ladder. Today, tuition costs -and the corresponding loans students must take-are so high that benefits of a college diploma do not make up for the cost to get it.Students who aspire for higher education to better their lives end up starting their careers with enormous debts to still pay for. That is where privatization contradicts with the purposes of higher education.

Q2“To put it another way, education itself does not appear in the
devolutionary cycle. Everything is about money—raising it, but mostly cutting
it. We now rarely define educational needs and then work out budgets,
but start with budgets to which we repeatedly adapt education” (10)

Although financial health and budget discipline are important for a healthy university, money's overemphasis diverts institutions from their true goal. American higher education system is at a point where money is the central issue in its universities decision-making process. In the higher education sphere, it swapped roles with education itself; money became the goal of university administrators while education turned into an expense that must be trimmed for acquisition of more money. Diminishing significance of quality higher education for the sake of money is unacceptable in a civilized society.

Q3Talking about the American funding model and the shift to private sources, "Voters are often told that the shift means that wealthy donors and sponsors have picked up a big part of educational bill, but this is simply not true. The AFM means shifting educational costs from the overall population to students and their families" This quote, although I do not know how I'm going to implement it to my paper, is striking. In my opinion, the shift from public funding to private funding --and the fact that voters are either okay with it or ignorant of its effects-- mirrors the change of attitudes towards education; the fact that people don't consider education a public good anymore. It is seen as a private good, a commodity one can buy for 'his' own sake. Public's wellbeing and the ideal of an educated-intellectual society
(fundamental goals of higher education)
are out the window

7. This article is helpful for my research because it explains the significance of money in our higher education system and how its overemphasis have decayed universities themselves and the people's take on education.

Friday, November 9, 2012

research blog #7- counter argument -

Recently, there are striking changes in higher education. Economic troubles of the last decades, and an unwillingness to fund higher education on the federal government's (and the state's) side paved the way for private capital to be involved in higher education. Although, for-profit colleges (private institutions) made up only a small number of universities in the US, their numbers are ever increasing. My question is whether this privatization is part of the natural evolution of higher education (institutions evolve just like living organisms to suit the needs of their time) or an intrusion of its natural course by foreign forces, private capital and the corporate world. One way the corporate world gets 'involved' with universities is the utilization of universities to train skilled workers for the industry. In his article Are Universities and University Research Under Threat, Martin Ben talks about the recent changes in universities. He dubs the recent involvement of the corporate world in university sphere as the universities' forgotten third mission. This third mission, he argues has been there since the beginning; universities have been involved with their surroundings and locale, and served as centers of knowledge assisting their host country and city in many ways, including training of skilled workers for the industries. In his article, he promotes the recent privatization saying the universities should not be isolated and should be more involved with their surroundings as to accomplish their third mission. I, however, disagree with the promotion of privatization. Even though I agree that universities should be involved with their locale, state and economy by assisting them with their expertise (and sometimes with its mere presence since a university makes its host city more active socially and economically, just like New Brunswick during semesters), this involvement does not and should not require loss of autonomy and character on the university's part. I believe that a university can assist society without bowing to the demands of private capital and business interests. It is a university's autonomy and academic character (rather than a proposed corporate or business character) that makes a university beneficial for society. Otherwise (under private control), it is just another company doing business in the city that does no good to society if it is not in its interest to do so.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

research blog #6

My paper is concerned with the evolution of the higher education system. In my research, I found out that institutions evolve, just like living organisms, to survive and meet the demands of their environment. With regard to universities, their evolution is shaped by the external pressures and demands put on them. As a case, I am taking a look at the recent privatization and subsequent corporatization of the higher education system. The recent change mostly happened due to financial pressures on our universities stemming from our economic system's adherence to capital and profits. Things of concern within the recent trend are outsourcing of university jobs, increasing significance of the management at the expense of the academe and mass-low quality education (similar to the introduction of mass production in industries at the expense of high quality hand-crafted products). Another sign of corporatization is increased salaries for managers (executives) in universities. The increased pay reflects the tradition in the corporate world where managers, despite not contributing physically to the institution, get paid the most. The question is whether this recent trend is part of the universities' evolution for the better or its invasion by 'capital' and corporate world, yet another sphere of life overtaken by money. One article about the increased pays for executives can be found here :

Friday, October 26, 2012

Literature Review #3

2)Martin, Ben R. "Are Universities And University Research Under Threat? Towards An Evolutionary Model Of University Speciation." Cambridge Journal Of Economics 36.3 (n.d.): 543.
3) The article is about the changing role of universities. The author talks about two missions of universities, teaching and research. He argues that there is now a third mission, that of contributing to the economy and industry. This third mission was not well received by all. Two perspectives arose from the introduction of the third mission, the pessimistic and the optimistic thesis. The pessimists argue that the third mission is intrusive and universities should not have to adopt it, that is, they should be free from outside pressure and stick to their original missions. The optimistic approach argues that the universities should change as do the demands of the society. It argues for a university that cooperates with the industry and society in closer manner. It argues that universities have the opportunity to become engines of the knowledge economy, eventually fueled by private capital. The author goes in depth to compare the two and analyze them. He even starts from the foundation of medieval universities and tries to explain the previous changes faced by universities.
4)Ben R. Martin is a professor of science and technology studies at Sussex University, UK.
5) The author gives two different perspectives on the recent changes in universities and their missions.
The Pessimistic Thesis : The University and basic research (or the scientific commons” are under threat by the new missions imposed on universities by the changing economic dynamics.

The Optimistic Thesis : Universities have the opportunity to become ‘entrepreneurial universities’, taking on the role of the ‘engine’ of the knowledge economy.

6)“Universities are conventionally seen as having two missions –teaching and research. Over recent decades, however, they have been expected to give greater emphasis to a ‘third mission’ –that of contributing to industry, the economy, the local region or society more generally” (Martin, 543).

The traditional mission of the university, knowledge for its own sake, makes universities immune to the pressures of society or economic for that matter. As institutions with a higher purpose (that of learning and teaching), universities have been the equivalent of the Catholic Church of medieval Europe, transcending the realities and hardships of the time. This traditional status quo, however, is about to change thanks to the economic and social pressures put on the universities. Possessing the know-how required to train skilled workers and conduct research better than any other type of institution, universities are expected to add another mission to their goal sheet, that of contributing to worldly matters, such as economics and industry.

“In their view the university is about the provision of a ‘liberal education’ and the pursuit of ‘knowledge for its own sake’, both of these conducted under conditions of ‘academic autonomy’. For them, the introduction of the third mission represents something that is new, intrusive and potentially threatening” (Martin, 544).

The author talks about the pessimistic thesis. It argues that pressures on the universities to contribute more to the economy, industry and their local regions is the invasion of university space. According to the thesis, this ‘third mission’ is nothing more than the corruption of the concept of traditional university. Its proponents believe universities should be protected from such demands and stick to their original missions of teaching and research in a fully autonomous environment.

“The roots of the medieval university phenomenon were formed in utilitarian soil. Europe’s earliest universities were institutional responses to the need to harness the expanding intellectual forces of the eleventh and twelfth centuries to the ecclesiastical, governmental and professional
requirements of society” (Martin,548).

Even though the pessimistic thesis dubs the ‘third mission’ intrusive, Martin argues that this mission was there since the foundation of universities. In medieval times, he notes, universities were expected to contribute to their society. While it is true that universities were utilized to provide trained professionals, their main purpose have been teaching and research. Even so, the pessimistic thesis doesn’t argue for a university to be completely isolated from the society but it promotes autonomous universities that are independent from outside pressure, universities that are autonomous in their policies.

7) This article is useful for my research because it talks about the two different perspectives on the evolution of universities and their missions. He also talks about the early history of universities, which is helpful in deciphering the evolutionary history of modern university.