Alexander Zubatov offers a very good essay on the decline of US colleges and universities. Find it at The American Conservative.
Why is American higher education such an abject failure? Our system of higher education simultaneously and confusingly aims at two entirely distinct goals—and, as such, is discharging neither of them especially well. It is, on the one hand, supposed to prepare us for the labor market by arming us with practical skills, and on the other hand, supposed to turn us into Renaissance men and women, who have a deeper understanding of our world. But the most popular major in college today is “business”—a nonsense major that neither educates anyone in the broad sense nor prepares them for anything in particular in the narrow sense of the workaday world. Christopher Lasch observed that most college students “get little training in writing (unless ‘Commercial English’ is an acceptable substitute), seldom read a book, and graduate without exposure to history, philosophy, or literature.”
Read the whole thing. Note that the T.S. Eliot quote came from a work from the era immediately after World War II and was not limited to “higher” education, at least as it exists today. It was bad then. It’s worse now.
Also, he’s 100% correct – “business” is a nonsense major almost completely devoid of education. And what a shame to wait until college to become acquainted with (or not) history, philosophy, and literature. It’s not an accident that those three subjects, and many others, have been erased from nearly all levels of modern/post-modern education.
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