Thursday, May 22, 2008

Neoliberalism in Education

Neoliberalism is a Contagious Disease

What country do you think the following excerpt from Giroux's chapter (2008) purports to describe?

(a) Indonesia

(b) USA

(c) Indonesia and the USA

(d) none of them

In keeping with the progressive impoverishment of politics and public life over the past two decades, the university is increasingly transformed into a training ground for corporate interests and, hence, receding from its role as a public sphere in which youth can become the critical citizens and democratic agents necessary to nourish a socially responsible future. Strapped for money and increasinghly defined in the language of corporate culture, many universities are now modeled after the wisdom of the business world and seems less interested in higher learning than in becoming licensed storefronts for brand-name corporations -- selling of space buildings, and research programs to rich corporate donors. As higher education is corporatized, young people find themselves on campuses that look like malls . . .. . . . As higher education increasingly becomes a privilege rather than a right, many working-class youth either find it financially impossible to enter college or, because of increased cost, have drop out.
Not surprisingly, students are now referred to as "customers," while some university presidents even argue that professors should be labeled "academic entrepreneours". College presidents are now often called CEOs and have come to be known less for their intellectual leadership than for their role as fund-raisers and their ability to bridge the worlds of academe and business. What was once the hidden curriculum of many universities -- the subordination of higher education to capital -- has now become an open and much-celebrated policy of both public and private higher education.
(Giroux, Henry A, Against the Terror of Neoliberalism: Politics Beyond the Age of Greed. London, Boulder: Paradigm Publishers. 2008, pp.102-103).

Even though Giroux refer his description to the US condition, but it applies to other countries as well, perhaps it may also apply to our country. This shows that neoliberalism is indeed a global contagious disease.


intan said...

I guess that education starts to be infected by neoliberalism when their goal orientation been reduced into human-resources orientation, not human-being orientation.

Few days ago, I read an article [perhaps in Kompas, but I need to search for it again] said that in Indonesia, this kind of reduction has been started since late "New" Order era - the article also said that "human resource" is our late Minister of Education Djojonegoro's favourite terminology.

I also still wondering why RI's Cultural Affairs was being moved from Ministry of Education to Ministry of Tourism. Is it de-indoctrination, or commodification, or something else?

intan said...

Whoops, I think the word "former" is better than "late" - just found this sort of incorrectness.