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Lowering Higher Education: The Rise of Corporate Universities and the Fall of Liberal Education Paperback – Jan 15 2011

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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (Jan. 15 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442611219
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442611214
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #76,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


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)|'In Lowering Higher Education, Professors Côté and Allahar continue their bold critique of the Canadian university system. The sequel to Ivory Tower Blues provides a wide range of new evidence to support the authors' contention that corporatization, credentialism, and dubious edu-technologies are undermining liberal education at the post-secondary level. Public school educators as well as parents will be particularly interested in the book's discussion of how similar trends are affecting Canada's secondary schools, and how teachers are challenging the dysfunctional policies of out-of-touch administrators.' (Jon Cowans, secondary school teacher and education writer)|'From the misappropriation of the baccalaureate degree to confer status on vocational training programs to the collapse of educational standards driven by misguided government policies, Côté and Allahar systematically explode the self-serving myths propagated by professors, university presidents, and politicians in their increasingly desperate attempts to conserve a post-secondary education system that is failing both our students and the public interest.' (David J. Helfand, Columbia University and Quest University Canada)|We academics love to expose problems in other institutions, but are more reluctant to do so in our own backyard. Lowering Higher Education offers an unflinching and detailed analysis of grade inflation and student disengagement in Canadian universities. Responding to critics of Ivory Tower Blues, Côté and Allahar elaborate their ideas with new takes on educational technologies, vocational programs, student engagement, and prescriptions for change. Today's universities are not suffering from mere growing pains, they fear, but are drifting from their central mission. This sequel reaffirms liberal ideals in an era of change, and promises to spark a new round of debate on the future of the university. (Scott Davies, Ontario Research Chair in Educational Achievement and At-Risk Students, McMaster University)

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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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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
reasonable March 21 2011
By dgm - Published on
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