Universities are more Interested in Government Grant Money than Teaching their Pesky Students

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 6th, 2012

Week in Review

Education is sacred.  For in all the budget debates.  In all the class warfare.  One field is exempt from that one most disparaging label.  Greedy.  Everyone is greedy in Western Civilization.  Except the universities and the professors.  Who make more and more while working less and less.  And hand out degrees that have little value in the modern economy.  No.  Their greed is never called out.  These people who add little to our economic wellbeing.  While those who do are called every filthy and vile name in the book.  Because education is sacred.  Apparently.  No matter how substandard it is (see Professors should teach more classes: Experts by Antonella Artuso posted 5/6/2012 on the Toronto Sun).

Ontario’s post-secondary system could improve the quality of students’ education and save money by sending more professors back to class, some experts say.

There is rising concern that hundreds of thousands of Ontario undergraduate students are being short changed by a university system that values research ahead of teaching…

Ontario undergraduate university students learn in ever larger classes and often emerge from their pricey education without the skills they need to find work in a modern economy, he said…

There has long been an informal working ratio for professors — 40% of their time spent on research, 40% on teaching and 20% on administrative duties.

Economist Don Drummond, who chaired the Dalton McGuinty government’s Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, concluded universities — and even a few colleges — now aggressively chase provincial and federal research grants with some institutions using undergraduate tuition fees to pursue government funds…

University of Toronto Professor Ian Clark, co-author of Academic Reform, said the Ontario and federal governments have ramped up research grants in the hope — one that’s shared by most developed nations — that the investment will stimulate the economy.

Professors now spend more time on research, teaching an average of two courses a term, down from three courses a term about 20 years ago, Clark said.

At the same time, there’s been a strong public push to increase the number of Ontarians with a post-secondary education, leading to a 50% jump in undergraduate students over a decade.

“You’re getting less than half as much time per student per faculty member as there used to be. Inevitably, it’s leading to bigger classes and more use of teaching assistants,” said Clark, a former president of the Council of Ontario Universities. “That, we assert — and so do many, many others — is leading to a decline in the quality of the undergraduate education that Ontario students receive…”

Constance Adamson, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), said professors are aware that class sizes are getting larger, but the fault lies not with the focus on research, but with chronic underfunding of the post-secondary system.

Really?  The problem is chronic underfunding?  It has nothing to do with universities running after all that free government money?  The professors are teaching one less course a term.  Why?  Because they’re too busy chasing all of that free government money.  No wonder these kids are graduating lacking the necessary skills to make it in the modern economy.  Their education is only a distraction to these professors.  Who spend as little time involved in it as possible.  Why?  Because that’s why God made graduate students.

This isn’t a problem unique to the Canadians.  Throughout the world a university degree is becoming a birthright.  More and more kids are going to university.  Because we tell them it’s the gateway to success and wealth.  The problem is that not only are we giving them a part-time, half-hearted education, a lot of the degrees we’re giving them are worthless in the modern economy.  Liberal arts.  Social sciences.  Women studies.  Etc.  None of which are in high demand in the modern high-tech economy.

Perhaps these are the reasons those angry unemployed university graduates are protesting capitalism in all of those occupy movements.  They borrowed a fortune for those degrees.   That were supposed to give them success and wealth.  Only to find that they got huge student loan debts.  For a worthless, part-time, half-hearted education.  Worse, these university graduates don’t even understand capitalism.  For it isn’t capitalism that failed them.  It was their leftist universities that failed them.  Who gave them a substandard education.  While charging them a premium for it.  But do these kids protest these universities or their professors?  No.  They’re protesting the businesses that can’t hire these graduates without spending a fortune on them.  To give them a useful education.  That their university was supposed to provide them.

That’s how bad our education systems have become.  Our universities draw these kids in.  These pesky students.  Selling them a useless degree.  That these kids should have known were worthless.  I mean, exactly what kind of high-paying job do these kids think their degrees in the liberal arts, social sciences, women studies, etc., will prepare them for?  Stock analyst?  Investment banker?  Research engineer?  Doctor?  The truth is that many of these degrees these kids are graduating with have very little if any value in the market place.  In fact the only thing they’re qualified for is to teach these worthless degrees to other unsuspecting students. 

And yet they protest capitalism.  Not the people who made them unfit to enter the world of capitalism.  Which is yet another sad commentary on today’s educational standards.

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