RAE factory or glorified job shop? 2

November 2, 2006

It is easy for academics with secure jobs to preach, as Ian McNay did last week, that the purpose of universities should not be to increase students' employability but "quality of life" through rounded education (Opinion, October ).

Even though this may be true in theory, what quality of life can one have, I ask, if one is unemployed/unemployable?

Maybe McNay would prefer the situation in France or Greece, where, granted, universities still follow the Humboldtian ideal and pursue knowledge for knowledge's sake; at the same time they are underfunded, overcrowded, lack basic resources and, due to their dated course offereings, end up being factories for unemployable people whose degrees have no value in the global labour market.

Perhaps those students should be asked what they think about the education they receive. I strongly suspect that they are not entirely happy with it.

Dimitra Koutsantoni
Sir John Cass Business School
City University

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