The president of the Republic of Ireland has issued a stark warning that the “ruination” of the university tradition is “at hand”, with scholarship and teaching threatened by both authoritarian politicians and a subservience to the “utilitarian reductionism” of market ideology.
The teaching of economics, for example, had degraded from questions of “moral economy”, through “political economy”, to now merely being a “technical training in measurement”.
For centuries, universities had spearheaded “new movements of thought, new paradigms of existence”. But with this raison d’être under threat, Mr Higgins speculated whether universities might become “the tourist attractions of the future”.
He defended tenure as “essential” to academic freedom and lamented the “precarity of so many scholars”.