It’s an ugly time for higher education in the UK. The march of corporatization continues unabated, as students are encouraged to think of themselves as consumers, and education as a product. Rather than fighting the important battles over what we should be learning, and how, instead the arguments today focus on ‘metrics’ and ’employability’.
It’s like watching a team of scientists trying to judge the power of a funeral dirge using a decibel meter.
The humanities are at risk of becoming – at best – the luxury only an elite can afford. Who knew 2016 would feel so much like the nineteenth century?
But we have weapons.
We may not have control of the public conversation about education, but if there is one thing our artificially elongated educations have surely given us, it is the power to subvert languages, to inhabit alternative practices, to do things that are right in the name of a system that is broken.
So when they say student satisfaction, we mean personal growth.
When they say diversity, we mean decolonisation.
When they say employability, we mean self-knowledge.
When they say crisis of the humanities, we mean crisis of their humanity.
Bring on 2017.