The management at the University of Sussex in Brighton is attempting
to restructure the entire academic institution to make it fit for ‘the market’. The proposed ‘reforms’, which would change
the entire culture and tradition of the university, are part of a broader
process that is currently taking place in higher education in Britain and
around the world: the marketisation and privatization of education.
The privatisation of higher education has meant its complete distortion, as the nature of a university degree has become subordinate to profitability and the market. Academic schools are now 'business units', students are customers and the mark you get is open to manipulation for the sake of attracting potential new consumers. It is the 'commodification' of education.
The 17th to the 21st September was a hectic week for many
students as they continue preparing for university. The week-long
freshers fair at Leeds University was a hive of activity and not
wishing to miss a great opportunity the Leeds comrades of Socialist
Appeal and Hands off Venezuela set up some stalls.
With total student debts in the U.K reaching a staggering
£18 billion, the threat to our education by privatisation has never been greater. The result has been that the responsibility for higher
education has been handed down, like a cursed heirloom, from government to
university, to family, the buck finally stopping at the student. This means
that students going to university today will pay three times as much as they
would have done a decade ago.