Market fundamentals 4

March 19, 2004

Bob Brecher sees higher education's problems as being due mainly to free-market fundamentalism. As a private tutor, I don't see the problem.

When a student pays a teacher, he has a keen interest in the quality and relevance of the teaching, and the tutor is free to direct his attention to the student without external management and bureaucracy.

The state then comes in on top of this highly controlled "market", but, unable to afford the cost, it recommends fees. The result is an awkward hybrid, a large-scale enterprise with state involvement.

The genuine teachers lose out to those on the periphery of management and committee work. To preserve quality, academia must learn to stand aside from all attempts to coerce or organise it.

Nigel Probert

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