BLOATED AND STARVING

These are the words a close friend used to describe how she feels as a university student. Bloated with access, information, and technology; starved for actual teaching, mentorship, and plain human contact.

She is receiving a graduate degree from a major (non-profit) American institution.  She rarely meets her colleagues or her instructor. Seminars are online and informal.  Her assignments include endless and shapeless bibliographies, aggregated and linked from tidy Blackboard pages.  She sends work into a void and receives grades in return.  After three years, she will have paid $30,000 in tuition, without ever having used anything other than the administrative services of the University.

This is just one (terrible) program.  But I think (fear) it foreshadows changes to come (or already here), namely the large-scale business modeling of higher education.  Doing more with less looks a whole lot like turning a major profit with no effort at all.

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