About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6157-6158
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain


S. Costreie

University of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
It is a fact that more and more universities tend now to model themselves after corporations seeking to maximize profit and dominate the market. As a result, the democratic mission of the university as a public institution providing knowledge and education is in danger. Academic freedom is in danger, and thus intellectual creativity is forced to evolve within certain predefined limits, which will eventually affect freedom itself. But the engine of creativity is freedom, freedom of thought and freedom to pursuit an idea per se, and not only if it displays a certain market value or if it may help us obtain some material advantages. Corporatization jeopardizes the integrity of university research for the increasing tendency manifest especially in the sciences that the research should be driven by the explicit demand to produce results that are “patentable” or “commercially viable”.
My paper analyze the ways in which the academy’s shift towards a business model of education may affect our power to produce intellectual creativity and production, and, in a long term period, may affect our society even deeper, impeding our collective ability to preserve and promote a democratic way of life. This second effect comes along with losing the ability to foster a critical thinking environment for our students. The gradual elimination of critical thinking and of the culture of criticism in general certainly generates the weakening of intellectual independence, which may ultimately erode democratic thinking by changing certain habits of mind that enable democracy to flourish.
As universities model more and more after business schools, becoming certification factories rather than institutions of higher learning, the “shopping mall” university where students seek the cheapest and fastest ways to obtain just certification through the acquisition of some basic skills is becoming a familiar picture. The general tendency is to eliminate courses that are not directly related to job-training and to do everything which is humanly possible to increase student enrollment. Under these conditions, the university starts to look less like a place of free exchange of ideas and more like Orwell’s Animal Farm, a place that select and preserve just obedient citizens and not dissenters who challenge social and mental conventions. Yet universities were founded on ideals of knowledge and service in the public interest, and universities had a noble mission to create knowledge and foster learning that would serve the public good and contribute to the social welfare. Academics at all levels and of all kinds need to fight to regain this central mission and to increase the people’s awareness of the influence of corporate thinking upon critical thinking.
author = {Costreie, S.},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6157-6158}}
AU - S. Costreie
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 6157
EP - 6158
ER -
S. Costreie (2010) THE CRITICAL ROLE OF UNIVERSITIES, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 6157-6158.