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Lowering Higher Education: The Rise of Corporate Universities and the Fall of Liberal Education [Paperback]

James Cote , Anton L. Allahar
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 15 2011

What happens to the liberal arts and science education when universities attempt to sell it as a form of job training? In Lowering Higher Education, a follow-up to their provocative 2007 book Ivory Tower Blues, James E. Côté and Anton L. Allahar explore the subverted 'idea of the university' and the forces that have set adrift the mission of these institutions. Côté and Allahar connect the corporatization of universities to a range of contentious issues within higher education, from lowered standards and inflated grades to the overall decline of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences instruction.

Lowering Higher Education points to a fundamental disconnect between policymakers, who may rarely set foot in contemporary classrooms, and the teachers who must implement their educational policies—which the authors argue are poorly informed—on a daily basis. Côté and Allahar expose stakeholder misconceptions surrounding the current culture of academic disengagement and supposed power of new technologies to motivate students. While outlining what makes the status quo dysfunctional, Lowering Higher Education also offers recommendations that have the potential to reinvigorate liberal education.


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Lowering Higher Education: The Rise of Corporate Universities and the Fall of Liberal Education + Ivory Tower Blues: A University System in Crisis + Academic Transformation: The Forces Reshaping Higher Education in Ontario
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Review

Lowering Higher Education will be widely read and discussed thanks to its insightful, controversial analysis of the major issues facing higher education today. James E. Côté and Anton L. Allahar put forth excellent arguments on why the liberal arts education is being lost in the university environment, and what implications this will have in the long run for students, professors, and society. By detailing positive examples from around the world and suggestions for improvement, Côté and Allahar have made a serious advance with Lowering Higher Education. (Gerald Adams, Department of Family Relations, University of Guelph)

About the Author

James E. Côté is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario.



Anton L. Allahar is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Western Ontario.



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By DFisher
Format:Paperback
Lowering Higher Education provides a Canadian variation on the ubiquitous theme of declining quality of university education. Authors Coté and Allahar, professors at the University of Western Ontario, perform some very interesting analysis using data from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to determine whether disengagement is by necessity or by choice. While I think there are some basic flaws in their argument (engagement is solely defined as the amount of time spent studying and preparing for class -- a limited view IMHO), they do a great job of debunking some very common myths about what is absorbing students' time. And they come back to the central thesis: time isn't the problem. Institutional culture is. Full review on the CACUSS Reads blog:
[...]
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars reasonable March 21 2011
By dgm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a reasonable but very Canadian focused treatment of the problems of grade inflation and the corporatisation of higher education.

certainly enough material to ponder, but I would have preferred both a more global focus with comparisons between say, the UK, Canada, Australia, which have historically similar university systems, and also an expanded section on the role (or not) of technology in diminishing the university experience, including the rise of the learning management system
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