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The Decline of the Humanities and the Decline of Society

Ibanga B. Ikpe

The debate as to whether the humanities is in decline is almost over. Statistics on declining enrolments, shrinking job prospects, dwindling funding and growing condescension from society add up to show that all is not well. Humanities scholars have, in the recent past, tried to discover what is wrong as well as do something to demonstrate that the humanities is still relevant to society. In this regard, many have suggested that the humanities should change to accommodate the needs of the marketplace, while others have argued that to do so will change the humanities so drastically as to render it unrecognizable. This article is about the current state of affairs in the humanities and the different views that have been expressed on it. It argues that rather than the humanities, it is actually society that is in decline, and as such changing the humanities to suit the needs of the marketplace would be a disservice to our long humanistic tradition. It acknowledges that humanities scholars need to engage more with society even as they continue in activities that have defined the humanities through the years and argues for humanities therapy as a way for the humanities to engage with a world that is increasingly enamoured with technê.

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The business of teaching and learning

an accounting perspective

Penny Ciancanelli

A feature of globalisation is encouragement of universities to become more businesslike, including adoption of the type of accounting routines and regulations used by businesses. The question debated in higher education policy research is whether this focus on being businesslike is compatible with the statutory public benefit obligations of universities. This question is addressed from a financial-management perspective, drawing on Max Weber's discussion of the effects of accounting in business, governmental and not-for-profit organisations. 1 His approach is applied to three ideal-typical universities, focussing on differences in legal terms of reference and sources of funding. The article argues that the proposed reforms of public-sector accounting will make it difficult (if not impossible) to ascertain whether the publicbenefit aims of not-for-profit universities have been achieved. In addition, once installed, the business systems of accounting will encourage pecuniary rationality at the expense of the traditional value rationalities that ought to govern resource allocation in public-benefit organisations. The interaction between these effects introduces new risks, including the possibility that the controllers of universities may fail in their fiduciary obligations by wasting scarce resources on projects that, according to financial measures, appear profitable while neglecting those that have important public benefit and educational merit.

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Reforming universities in the Middle East

Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan

Daniele Cantini

institutions, normally not-for-profit, and a mushrooming bunch of newer, private and for-profit universities, which arise from the reforms in the 1990s ( Cantini 2016b ). It should be kept in mind that there is a great diversity of conditions in the region and

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The triple-sidedness of “I can't breathe”

The COVID-19 pandemic, enslavement, and agro-industrial capitalism

Don Nonini

case of both “payday loans” and student loans taken out by students to pay for “educations” offered by new for-profit universities like Corinthian College. The gerund “targeting” is deliberate and refers to the sale of electronic financial “consumer

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Unreasonable rage, disobedient dissent

The social construction of student activists and the limits of student engagement

Jessica Gagnon

-profit higher education providers to enter the market more easily and under less scrutiny ( Watson 2014 ). Accordingly, the 2016 higher education White Paper declared the government’s intentions to encourage the establishment of for-profit universities, which

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Aftermath of the MOOC wars

Can commercial vendors support creative higher education?

Christopher Newfield

, making selection difficult. Twenty schools that had comparable data available in the National Center for Education Statistics website were selected from the list of for-profit institutions in Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_for-profit_universities