Thoughts on educaiton and life in Oz sparked by Re: Social Darwinism at Ohio State

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at
Thu Jun 7 16:41:58 MDT 2001

This horrified me in the sense of I can now see the future more clearly. It
doesn't work of course, but there it is, coming remorselessly.

Meanwhile at QUT the dismantling of traditional humanities subjects such as
philosophy, history, geography and English Literature has proceeded
apace.  Within the city the the universities are now in the control of
right wing Labor Party intellectuals. Labor itself sets fair to become the
"natural" party of government throughout the nation.  They are marketing
themselves as responsible social democrats who will "civilize" global
capital and display a modicum of independence vis a vis the USA with regard
to the missile defence program.  Labor does not yet have the nerve to try
the line "compassionate conservatives."

But in reality in every field especially education nothing much will be
changed.  The drive to turn education into an export oriented industry,
through the attracting of overseas fee paying students, will continue.   We
have already been told to internationalise our offerings and to remove the
word "Australian" from as many of our units as possible. Because the
Australian dollar has all but collapsed we are able to compete with Britain
and USA in the market for Asian students.

At the same time Australian students have to contribute more and more to
the cost of their own education and the promise of a good job at the end of
it is becoming every more like a mirage that fades out of reach as one
tries to grab it.

As always I get the feeling that surely some day, some where, something
will have to give. As things are they cannot possibly remain. However in
front the sun climbs slow, how slowly.



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