THE IDEA OF A UNIVERSITY AND THE INCREASING PRESSURES OF UTILITARIANISM: A CRITICAL REFLECTION ON ADDIS ABABA UNIVERSITY
By Setargew KenawLecturer, Department of Philosophy, College of Social Sciences and research fellow at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University.
Published in The Ethiopian Journal of the Social Sciences and Humanities, Vol. 1, No. 1, December 2003. This paper was first read on the 15th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, July 21-25, 2003, Hamburg. I would therefore like to express my gratitude to my anonymous reviewers selected by the organizing committee of the conference; their comments were very useful. I would also like to express my gratitude to Ato Shiferaw Bekele, Ato Birhanu Teferra, Dr. Habtamu Wondimu and many other readers for their highly valuable and constructive criticisms.
What are the aims and objectives of university education? What is, in short, the philosophy of university education? In dealing with this central question, various educators and philosophers have provided us with different formulations. Despite the contending conceptions that emanate from diverse assumptions about what university education ought to be, there is a widespread agreement that there should be certain features that should be there if a university should maintain itself as a university.
This paper tries, first, to establish the conceptual framework on the idea of a university. Drawing on the Newmanesqean analysis of what university education ought to be, and, more specifically, the distinction that the analysis brings to our attention, namely the distinction between "useful" knowledge and knowledge that is sought for its own sake, the paper subsequently argues that the end of university education should primarily be liberal or philosophical as opposed to technical or vocational education whose obvious and ultimate criterion is "usefulness." The paper then gives us an overview of the history of Addis Ababa University with particular emphasis to the pressures that have affected its missions and aims. As hinted by the very topic, the central thesis of this paper is that Addis Ababa University has increasingly come under the pressures of capitalist consumerism. In order to substantiate this point, it is attempted to employ an analysis that works at three levels: (i) the global capitalist context and the demonstration of the utilitarian pressures on a few Western universities; (ii) Ethiopia’s adoption of the principle of the free market economy, the role of international financial agencies, and related developments; and (iii) the in-campus responses to the afore-mentioned influences and the misconceptions behind them.
The paper therefore strongly argues that Addis Ababa University is increasingly falling prey to extremely utilitarian or consumerist demands, which would in turn lead it astray from one of the central educational missions that a university should address, i.e. the cultivation and the disciplining of the mind. In addition to discussing the global and local politico-economic developments that demonstrate the reality of the pressures in question, the paper tries to substantiate its point by drawing on a few but symbolic developments within the University during the past few years.
Many scholars believe that there should be certain characteristic features that a university education should distinctly demonstrate. This does not however mean that any given set of features would serve as definite criterion to characterize a university at any time and space. Obviously, a university, like any other educational and social institution, is subject to change and transformation along with, and/or due to, economic, political, and cultural mutations of differing degrees of intensity and at levels which could be local, national, regional or global. It goes without saying that the hallmark of pioneer European universities (see Rashdall 1936) such as the University of Bologna, the University of Paris, and the University of Oxford could hardly serve as the measure of excellence for today’s universities around the world. Even if we prefer to restrict our analysis to the history of any one university, be it a half-century old institution like Addis Ababa University or a centuries-old university like Bologna, the fact that university education could never address only one package of mission, aims and objectives across time is obvious.
However, notwithstanding the various historical developments that, directly or indirectly, affect the nature of university education or educational advancement in general, there have been heated discussions on what the philosophy of university education ought to be. And these discussions have become central concerns of many educators since the middle of the 19th century (see Newman 1947 ; Jaspers 1952; Levin 2000). The phrasal rubric "the idea of a university," which has been formulated after the seminal work of the Irish philosopher John Henry Cardinal Newman (1947), has been serving especially as a key topic to inquire into the issue under discussion.
Since Newman, very crucial questions have been asked by various writers concerning the nature of university education in general, and the ideal or mission a university should gravitate into, if it has to stand up to its name. In fact, due to reflective thoughts on the part of universities (internal), and political, economic, social and cultural (extraneous) influences of varied dimensions, many universities around the world have been forced to formulate and reformulate their respective missions.
Nonetheless, despite, or, paradoxically enough, because of the internal and external challenges, various educators believe (and rightly so) that there should be certain key and resilient features that a university should always demonstrate irrespective of its setting. Among these, the fact that university education should aim at knowledge for its own sake, or, to put it in a very concise and telling manner, that a university should be a centre of excellence must be the quintessential feature that makes a university a university.
This paper has four sections. The first presents Newman’s idea of the university as a conceptual model. The second provides an overview of the history of Addis Ababa University with particular emphasis to the challenges that its mission has faced. Section three deals with the utilitarian threat universities are encountering both at the global and local level. And in its last section the paper winds up with concluding remarks.
2. Newman’s Idea of the University: Conceptual Considerations
The major ideas which I am going to discuss by way of conceptual considerations are mainly drawn from Newman’s work, The Idea of a University. This work, which was first published in a book form in 1854, was originally presented as a series of lectures read to cardinals of the Irish Catholic Church. The aim of most of the lectures was to establish the first Irish Catholic University, to which Newman became the first rector later on.
The main reasons why I depend on Newman’s work are as follows. First, the book is exceptionally comprehensive as well as powerfully analytic in its approach; therefore it provided me with concepts that I use as heuristic tools to expound my theme. My second reason, which naturally comes to the fore because of the first one, lies in that the book consists of ideas that are alive and hence at the centre of discussions for the last two centuries.
That a university is a "centre of excellence" is one of the often-quoted truisms among the informed. What is lacking in most cases however is its connotative meaning. John Henry Cardinal Newman has therefore provided us with fundamental and well thought out ideas concerning what that excellence is from different angles. And taking the scope of the paper into account, I will limit my discussion to a few but central ideas that his The Idea of a University addresses.
For Newman a university is a place of universal education. And he conceived the concept of universal education in two but related senses. The first sense is the understanding that a university ought to be a place where universal knowledge is taught. This interpretation, which Newman preferred to call "the popular version," focuses on the range of studies a university education should cover. In deciphering this popular version, Newman borrows descriptions from other writers.Johnson, in his dictionary, defines it [the word "university"] to be "a school where all arts and faculties are taught;" and Mosheim, writing as an historian, says that, before the rise of the University of Paris, - for instance, at Padua, or Salamanca, or Cologne, - "the whole circle of sciences then known was not taught;" but that the school of Paris, "which exceeded all others in various respects, as well as in the number of teachers and students, was the first to embrace all the arts and sciences, and therefore first became a University."Besides, as the university is a place entrusted to carry out a comprehensive "range of studies" (in contradistinction to other educational institutes - for example, technical schools, or ‘academies’ disposed to offer a special form of education), students would find themselves in an atmosphere of rich intellectual tradition. In relation to this, Newman notes:though they [students] cannot pursue every subject which is open to them, they will be the gainers by living among those and under those who represent the whole circle. This I conceive to be the advantage of a seat of universal learning, considered for their own sciences, and rivals of each other, are brought, by familiar intercourse and for the sake of intellectual peace, to adjust together the claims and the relations of their respective subjects of investigation. They learn to respect, to consult, to aid each other. Thus is created a pure and clear atmosphere of thought, which the student also breathes, though in his own case he only pursues a few sciences out of the multitude. He profits by an intellectual tradition, which is independent of particular teachers, which guides him in his choice of subjects, and only interprets for him those which he chooses (Newman 1947: 90).
The second and the higher level of interpretation that the dictum, "university means universal knowledge," reflects is the "liberal" or "philosophical" sense. This level of attainment, which the university student is believed to have reached eventually, is depicted, in a manner similar to the characterization of Confucius, as a habit of the mind whose qualities are "freedom, equitableness, calmness, moderation, and wisdom..."(Newman 1947:90).
But, what is the ultimate goal of this philosophical knowledge? Newman answers this knowledgehas a very tangible, real, and sufficient end, though the end cannot be divided from that knowledge itself. Knowledge is capable of being its own end. Such is the constitution of the human mind, that any kind of knowledge, if it be really such, is its own reward. And if this is true of all knowledge, it is true also of that special Philosophy, which I have made to consist in comprehensive view of truth in all its branches, of the relations of science to science, of their mutual bearings, and their respective values. What the worth of such an acquirement is, compared with other objects which we seek, - wealth or power or honour or the conveniences and comforts of life, I do not profess here to discuss; but I would maintain, and mean to show, that it is an object, in its own nature so really and undeniably good, as to be the compensation of a great deal of thought in compassing, and a great deal of trouble in the attaining (1947: 91).Newman therefore expressly concludes that the end result of knowledge--which he recurrently refers to as philosophical knowledge--is knowledge itself. Using an economy of words typical of his discourse, it is also stated that knowledge is its own end: "When I say that Knowledge is, not merely a means to something beyond it, or the preliminary of certain arts into which it naturally resolves, but an end sufficient to rest in and to pursue for its own sake...(1947: 91-92)."
In relying upon the predication that knowledge is its own end, this position aims at safeguarding university education from those who think that the primary object of a university education is to do something useful. According to Newman, useful knowledge could only be conceived as a goal due to the illusion that the end of a university is something moral rather than intellectual.
Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness justness of view faith. Philosophy, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles. Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life; - these are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University...(Newman 1947: 106-107).
It does not, however, follow from this that Newman is considering university education to be at loggerheads with useful knowledge. Instead, he has tried to substantiate that this is not the case in an emphatic manner. In one of his statements about the rationale for the Irish Catholic University, for example, what came into his mind was something Irish and Catholic. Addressing a group of students in his capacity as a rector of the Irish Catholic University, Newman has to say:...much I desire that this University should be of service to the young men of Dublin, I do not desire this benefit to you, simply for your own sakes. For your own sakes certainly I wish it, but not on your own account only. Man is not born for himself alone, as the classical moralist tells us. You are born for Ireland; and, in your advancement, Ireland is advanced; - in your advancement in what is good and what is true, in knowledge, in learning, in cultivation of mind, in enlightened attachment to your religion, in good name and respectability and social influence, I am contemplating the honour and renown, the literary and scientific aggrandisement, the increase of political power, of the Island of the Saints (Newman 1947: 355).Newman has even gone further and seems to use terms couched with utilitarian undertone. In what he takes as the "the highest importance to Catholic interests," Newman, again in his address to students, strongly notes that "when a subtle logic is used against the Church," she calls for "a logic still more subtle on the part of her defenders to expose it"(Newman 1947: 359).
But before anything like this could happen - i.e. before knowledge would become of good use to the Church or any other institution in possession of it, it must stand on its own. "Knowledge, indeed, when exalted into a scientific form, is also power; not only is it excellent in itself, but whatever such excellence may be, it is something more, it has a result beyond itself (Newman 1947: 99)."
Newman has to pause at this point in order to demonstrate that this family of knowledge, which he otherwise qualifies as philosophical or liberal, could be of great importance "beyond itself," if and only if it is good in itself. Using a rather rhythmic language, he writes: "I only say that, prior to its being a power, it is a good; that it is, not only an instrument, but an end (Newman 1947: 99)."
It is therefore worth noting that if the organ which establishes and funds a university is to gain something out of its effort, it is to its best advantage--of course given that it is a body that is dedicated to the maintenance and realization of democratic values--if it lets the university aim at the cultivation of mind. Once a university becomes a centre of intellectual excellence, Newman argues, its usefulness would soon follow as a matter of course.If then the intellect is so excellent a portion of us, and its cultivation so excellent, it is not only beautiful, perfect, admirable, and noble in itself, but in a true and high sense it must be useful to the possessor and to all around him; not useful in any low, mechanical, mercantile sense, but as diffusing good, or as a blessing, or a gift, or power, or a treasure, first to the owner, then through him to the world. I say then, if a liberal education be good, it must necessarily be useful too (Newman 1947: 145).The view that university education ought to be "useful" is put forward here in the broad sense; otherwise, this "usefulness" is regarded as the outcome of a condition that permits the very search for knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
3. A Retrospective View of AAU’s Mission: From Nation-Building to Ideological Indoctrination
3.1 Historical Background: An Overview
Since its establishment in 1961, then known as Haile Selassie I University, Addis Ababa University (AAU) has passed many hurdles to reach the stage of development it has attained, or, as some of its critics might say, regressed into, today. Like similar institutions around the world, AAU has been affected by the socio-economic and political conditions in which it came into being and has passed through over the years. In formulating and reformulating its mission, aims and objectives of its educational provisions, AAU (as has been the case with universities in general, or universities of the underdeveloped world in particular), has naturally been stretched between maintaining its status as a university and trying to meet the national demands at different stages of its history. And in order to have a critical appreciation of the philosophies of education this institution has been pursuing, it is crucial that we have to have a brief excursion into its history and the junctures that forced it to switch from one set of missions to the other.
The history of AAU and the history of higher education in Ethiopia can be considered in three phases. The first phase, which could be taken as the formative stage of the institution, was part of the political economy of the imperial regime, which ended in 1974. The second phase was the period in which AAU’s philosophy of education was recast to assume a socialist orientation. The third phase, which is still under way, is the time in which marketability is becoming the leading target-mould the mission that AAU’s education needs to be guided by.
3.1.1 The First Phase: Providing Trained Manpower
Though preceded by the establishment of the University College of Addis Ababa and other higher education institutions, Addis Ababa University is the first national university for Ethiopia. Launched in the wake of the modernization efforts of the imperial regime of Haile Selassie I, the University’s mission was in the main concerned with the aim of supplying schoolteachers for the Ministry of Education and trained manpower for government offices. The University had additional aims that needed to be addressed: promoting research, and supplying "personnel for technical advance and economic development" (La Follette 1964: 3).
A report presented to Emperor Haile Selassie, who was also Chancellor of the University, articulated the mission of the university in more general terms:A strong university must be relevant to the society it serves. It can grow and become more effective only when the economy and society grows and prospers. It can achieve popular support only when the people who nurture it believe that what it is doing is essential to the well-being of the nation. Haile Selassie I University is no exception: its strength derives from its service to the real and urgent needs of Ethiopia (HSIU 1971: 6).According to this statement, HSIU could only be in the right track if it could direct its educational activities towards meeting the real needs of the Ethiopian society. This concluding remark is in fact based on the presumption that the nature of university education could only be effective if it is "relevant to the society it serves." Be that as it may, however, this document, and many of the materials issued at that time, emphatically discussed the unique commitment the University must have as an institution of a very poor country. In an address given at the tenth anniversary of HSIU, Mulugeta Wodajo, the then Academic Vice President of HSIU, stressed that the University must be well aware of its role as an "Ethiopian university." He went on, "...I believe that unless our University has a special mission to accomplish because it is an Ethiopian University, then it will be difficult for it to play a significant role in Ethiopia’s development (Mulugeta 1971: 14)."As a government owned university that was funded by public money, HSIU had to cater education in the interest of the Ethiopian society. It was therefore in account of this context that most of the official statements then forwarded used to stress that University should address the interest of national development. Here I would like to point out that, in view of the concrete situations in which the University cropped up, the view that it must be enshrined with a uniquely Ethiopian character is not only realistic but also, normatively speaking, commendable.
But then, when I think of the reason why the mission of the University should be the way it was, there is still a very crucial factor I would like to bring to light here. Let me begin by asking this question: What could have been the mission of the University which was the first such institution to a very poor country like Ethiopia other than becoming imbued with a very sound commitment for nation building? As this question clearly suggests, the fact that AAU (HSIU) was conceived as a service university at a time the nation was at a crossroads, made it inevitable that it could not have been otherwise. In other words, given the conditions in which it arose, it was justifiable that AAU would have or must have continued to act as a service university for some time to go before it ought to start assuming the idea of a university modelled after Newman’s philosophy (see Section I of this paper).
This attempt of mine to justify retrospectively the way the mission of the University was formulated at its formative stages should not however lead us to overlook the other part of the story, namely that the leading figures of the time were neither unaware of, nor deliberately shun away from the traditional Newmanisqean ideal. As I shall try to substantiate soon, there was rather a clear vision of what a university education ought to be among patrons, educators and the leadership of HSIU. In his address at the inauguration of the University, Emperor Haile Selassie, in his capacity both as head of state and Chancellor of the university, had to say this:Since the existence of a university is to serve the community that it is in, it follows that the progress of such a university must be in line with the country’s economic development; and it must produce graduates with the spirit to serve and able to accept responsibility and be dynamic leaders. But, of course, since any university is basically entrusted with the task of the advancement of the frontiers of knowledge, its duties and obligations should not be limited to a certain nation--it exists for the development of science and its application to the welfare of mankind in general. A university which fails in its duty to fulfil such responsibilities is a source of knowledge only in name [emphasis mine](HSIU 1971).
Leading educators of the time were also aware of the possible inadequacy that a narrowly designed mission could have. In 1971, following his note that the University must have a uniquely Ethiopian mission, Mulugeta Wodajo made a cautious and philosophically informed statement which reads as follows:This is not of course to say that a University must be guided by narrow-minded chauvinism. By definition a University promotes universal values; it must transcend the narrow frontiers of political or national entities. But in addition to promoting universal values, a University should be permeated by the national ethos, it must represent the nation in microcosm: its aspirations as well as its vicissitudes (Mulugeta 1971: 14-15).
In opening a conference held in 1967, the questions Girma Amare raised--questions that he expected participants would be focusing on--are similarly suggestive of the philosophical spirit of the time:Is our University’s academic image comparable to that of the established universities? Is our haste to meet the nation’s manpower needs reducing our University to what Flexner called "a service station" and as a result jeopardising the standard of excellence which a University, as the highest institution of learning, should maintain? (Girma 1967:1)Notwithstanding which path Girma and his fellow educators did prefer to follow, if at all they thought in terms of the apparent either-or style the questions were forwarded, the very phraseology the questions are couched in reflects that the Newmanisqean ideal of university education was at the centre of the intellectual discourse of the time.
3.1.2 The Second Period: Succumbing to Ideological Indoctrination or Hiding Behind the Curtain?
The second period (1974 to 1991) through which Addis Ababa University passed is the period in which Ethiopia witnessed a highly autocratic military government, which came to power after the 1974 popular revolution that ousted the Imperial regime.
In 1975, the military government, pressurized by external and internal factors, declared that its line of development would be socialism. The socialist ideology (which was already received and propagated by some political groups before the government officially made it part of its propaganda machine) had become increasingly ominous over the years. Modelled on the totalitarian regimes of the Eastern block countries, the manner in which the Marxist-Leninist propaganda machine functioned was so hegemonic that almost all sectors of Ethiopian society did not pass unaffected. Among these, education was one of the sectors which suffered most.
Out of the conviction that higher education institutes could or should play a pivotal role in disseminating Marxism-Leninism, the government organized committee after committee, and issued several documents that were finally translated into practice. Courses versed in the Marxist-Leninist ideology were designed and imposed upon all higher education institutes of the country, in some cases taking the place of general education courses.
For reasons soon to be outlined, the Main Campus of AAU became the target of the Marxist indoctrination more than any of its components, which then included colleges spread over the country (the Alemaya College of Agriculture, Bahir-Dar Teachers College, Gonadar Public Health College, etc). Among the reasons that made AAU’s Main Campus the target of the indoctrination under discussion, the fact that it was the major locus of the student movement, and later on that it served as a breeding ground and centre of activity for a number of the clandestine political organizations. The other important factor that seemed to have pushed the ideologues of the new order to single out the Campus as their target could be associated with the simple reason that the Campus housed, which still does, the College of the Social Sciences. That was why (as I shall soon try to demonstrate briefly) the social sciences suffered the most compared to other fields of study.
Partly assisted by the faculty members of AAU and government representatives, various committees were organized and workshops held at different levels in order to revise the objectives of the curricula of departments of the College of the Social Sciences in accordance with the Marxist doctrine. Marxist oriented objectives were immediately in place. There is no need here to cite all the objectives. I will limit myself to one general objective that was formulated by a workshop organized around the theme "Social Science Teachers Education for Higher Education Institutions." According to the resolution of this workshop, which was held in 1979, one of the objectives of this programme was:To produce Social Science Teachers well imbued with Marxism-Leninism, dedicated to the service of the broad masses, fully committed to the materialist and proletarian world-outlook and prepared to fight against all idealist and bourgeois interpretation in their special areas of specialization (Tadesse 1979: 120).Following this doctrinaire, or rather more of a propagandistic directive, four 100 level courses were introduced as part of the Freshman Programme of the higher education institutions of the country. When it comes to the College of the Social Sciences, the indoctrination exercise seemed to have a much more drastic effect. Departments were required to revise their programmes, which they soon followed suit, though the extent of the curricular revision differed from one department to the other. Apparently, some departments have had a higher dosage of Marxist oriented courses than others.
Now, the question I would like to consider here is: Given the situation I outlined above, is it justifiable to reach the conclusion that AAU had failed to play its role as a university during these difficult years? Or, to put it differently, did the University absolutely fail to carry out the historic mission universities are expected to fulfil in the sense Newman and other educators conceptualise--I mean, realizing such ideas as cultivating the intellect and the promotion of universal knowledge? My answer is "By no means!" As the way I tried to formulate the topic of this section hints at, there were certain evidence that AAU did not entirely succumb to the pressures under discussion. Like many other universities that have been forced to pass through similar ordeals, AAU, instead of passively absorbing the indoctrination, tried to adopt strategies that helped it survive the tough years of the military regime. In relating to universities that might be forced under repressive regimes, Karl Jaspers gives a very wise injunction that they should be very smart until time passes. Having in mind the experiences of German universities during World War II, Jaspers’ cautionary statement to universities that might stumble upon similar forces runs thus:As a matter of fact, the relations between state and university are always tense, often marked by open conflict. The state has easily the upper hand over the university and can in fact destroy it. For without the state the university is helpless. Hence, all conflict must confine itself to the intellectual plane. The initiative must come from the mind and spirit manifested by the university which must compel the public mind to clarify its thinking and discern its proper objectives. It must eschew clever political manoeuvrings as not only inappropriate but fatal to its integrity. It must frankly and openly show what it stands for. It controls the state through the power of truth, not of force. The outcome of this intellectual conflict will, then, be the co-operation of state partly--always assuming, of course, that the state does want to help realize the idea of the university.If it does not, the university has no choice but to keep alive its ideal in secret, to refrain from all public activity and await the eventual fall of the present regime. Even so, the university is so lost if official hostility to its ideal should persist over a long period of time (Jaspers 1959: 135). (Emphasis mine)In a manner accepting the Jaspersean commendation, AAU adopted strategies that helped it keep its ideal in secret. Taking a few examples from my own department, the Department of Philosophy, would, I presume, suffice to back up my argument adequately.
The Department of Philosophy seemed to have been the most affected by the Marxist communion of the time in comparison to other departments of the College of the Social Sciences. (This condition has left an unfortunate legacy that seemed to have continued to damage the image of the Department, even since the time it stopped its major programme. This has been one of the formidable constraints in the effort of its faculty to restart the programme.) But then, despite the impressions many members of AAU used to conceive of when they think of the Department of Philosophy, I would like to stress here that this Department was in a very strong position to cater a philosophical education comparable to many philosophy programmes that belong to great Western universities. In this regard, I could say that, in line with Karl Jaspers’ wise advice, the Department of Philosophy was a department which had been working very hard in fulfilling the ideal of university education, though in quite a disguised manner.
The pertinent question at this point is, How did the Department accomplish this task? A cursory view into the syllabus of the Department may of course reinforce the bias many educated people used to hold: Many courses carried titles tagged with the Marxian orientation. A closer examination of the matter however reveals a different story. Take the course "Historical Materialism I" (see College of Social Sciences, 1983). It deals with the social philosophies of Emile’ Durkheim, Herbert Spencer, and Max Weber. "Historical Materialism II" deals with the political philosophy of Karl Marx. "Reading Capital I" does not at all touch upon the economic thought of Karl Marx, though the latter was, and deservedly at that, dealt by the course "Reading Capital II." The former was a course that elaborately and critically discusses major economic thoughts from Plato to the Classical Political Economists. "History of Socialist Thought I" discusses the "Utopian Socialists." (The ideas of major figures such as Fourier, Saint-Simon, Robert Owen, etc.--so-called Utopian Socialists--do constitute an important chapter in the history of social theories.) Even when it comes to courses which directly deal with Marxism (e.g. "History of Socialist Thought II and III"), students were instructed in such a way that they be well acquainted with important figures of Marxist political thought including that of the Western Marxists with a very meticulous and critical reading of the Marxist classics.
In this respect, if at all the generation of university students (I mean AAU’s) were to some degree affected by the indoctrination of vulgar Marxism, students of the Philosophy Department were not only the least affected but also the very elements to diffuse the contamination. Besides, given the approach and methodology of the provisions of the Department, its students were very competent in seeing many possible points of view other than Marxism.
In view of what I have been trying to outline so far, the experience of the Department of Philosophy, symbolically as well as in actual fact, exemplifies the resilience of AAU in maintaining its status as a university at a period of repression and tendentious ideological indoctrination.
[The phase, which I mentioned as "the third phase" above, will be discussed thoroughly in the section below.]
4. Addis Ababa University and the Incoming Consumerism
4.1 The Pressure of Utilitarianism: The Global Context
Whether a university should pursue liberal or useful knowledge has been one of the central questions around which universities formulate their respective missions, aims and objectives. Since I have tried to discuss the line of argument in favour of liberal education as defined by John Henry Cardinal Newman, I will focus here in this section on the utilitarian point of view and its implications for organizing university education. Before that, however, I would like to reiterate the reason why I draw on the liberal mode of inquiry instead of the utilitarian one. I rely on the former not merely out of the need to fulfil the necessary methodological procedure such study calls for; the main rationale for adopting it lies in the corrective or remedial effect it would have on the current tendency of universities to feebly concede to crude utilitarianism or consumerism.
Now, coming back to the topic at hand, I shall focus on the utilitarianism that is besetting many universities around the world. The trend of consumerism that is currently influencing university education around the world can be traced back to the 18th century doctrine known as utilitarianism. According to the ethical component of this doctrine, the index of the good life is the great measure of pleasure it gives to the great majority of people (Russell 1961: 741). In this regard, the approach of utilitarianism is essentially teleological or end-oriented. In the words of the 20th century British philosopher Bertrand Russell, the moral philosophy of utilitarianism boils down to such a formulae: "Those desires and those actions are good which in fact promote the general happiness. This need not be the intention of an action, but only its effect" (1961: 745).
Utilitarianism, as a moral philosophy, dates back to the late 18th century. The English philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill pinpointed pleasure and pain as the two major indexes on the basis of which moral actions are evaluated as good or bad. An action is good as long as it brings pleasure and, to the same degree, avoids pain. In other words, for utilitarianism, the moral value of an act is determined upon its consequences instead of upon something inherent or intrinsic.
When this utilitarian philosophy is applied to the educational arena, as could of course be the case to many departments of our cultural life, it could work at different levels. I would like to consider two levels of application here. The first is the level at which utilitarianism tries to address human, existential problems. In light of this utilitarian spirit, the issues that a university or any other higher institution should address must be pertinent to the social, economic, political, and religious problems in which it arises. As far as this goes, this approach is a very commendable one.
The second level is related to the sheer consumerism that characterizes the capitalist mode of life. Wedded to the political economy of capitalism, it is therefore this consumerism that is bringing about highly exacting pressures on higher education.
Let us now look at a few concrete examples that would help us substantiate how universities have been threatened by the ideology and practice of utilitarianism. First, I will consider the experience of American universities. American universities, as institutions of one of the leading capitalist countries, have obviously been institutions that have felt the grips of utilitarianism more than many of their counterparts around the world.
While the public has been napping, the American university has been busily reinventing itself. In barely a generation, the familiar ethic of scholarship--badly put, that the central mission of universities is to advance and transmit knowledge--has been largely ousted by the just-in-time, immediate-gratification values of the marketplace (Kirp 2000).
In an article titled as "The Changing Idea of a University: American Higher Education and the Illiberal Use of Knowledge" (2001), Matthew D. Wright provides us with a very concise analysis on the move American universities had been forced to take on in the late 19th century: a move to an "illiberal" (utilitarian) intellectual tradition. According to Wright’s account, one of the pioneers to carry out the new scheme was Charles William Eliot, a figure who had been the president of Harvard University for a considerable period of time. "In Eliot’s view, students should abandon a core curriculum "at the earliest possible moment" for fields of specialization, thus expediting their production of original research (Wright 2001: 1)."
The other leading reformer was a person known by the name Gilman, who was the first president of Johns Hopkins University. For Gilman, it is the very development and advancement of science that makes it inevitable, that universities be in a position to shrug off "the old-fashioned curriculum" and begin to play a leading role in guiding "the modern era of progress" (Wright 2001: 1).
Such reformist ideas were subsequently received happily by the US government and were soon translated into a federal policy document:In 1862, Congress passed the Morrill Act, an unprecedented provision of federal monies for the establishment of a national system of state colleges and universities, the "leading object [of which] shall be...to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanical arts" (Wright 2001: 1-2).According to Wright’s account, it was the relatively young universities that tried to take the foremost role in materializing the new scheme. The University of Wisconsin, for example, began to produce "well-trained technicians," and seemed to have been acting as an agent of transformation toward "utilitarian education" to the great satisfaction of the government as well as intellectual figures who espoused the new ideology (Wright 2001: 2). By way of expressing the fast moving rate the new reform programme had become pervasive, Wright writes:Overwhelmingly, the liberal arts core was discarded for the academic smorgasbord. More importantly, the idea of liberal education gave way to a pervasive pragmatism. Liberal cultivation of the student's mind was relegated to the position of rhetorical trapping in favor of dispensing useful knowledge. The former is of obtuse benefit, easily upstaged by the latter's delivery of prosperous and technologically sophisticated living. Educational choices for the consumer (a telling term in its own right) became the product of a simple cost-benefit analysis, with little or no understanding of the role of education in developing the student as a human being. American higher education became merely a means to an end (Wright 2001: 2).The extent to which the reform in question had turned American universities of the late 19th century "illiberal" might be worthy of our scrutiny if we have to look into the substantial changes similar reforms would bring about. Nonetheless, as we can gather from recent discourses in the US and other parts of the world, one thing is certain: the battle between the two apparently conflicting paradigms--liberal versus useful education--have continued to this date. As far as the American experience is concerned, conference papers and other publications from the last five years or so substantiate that there seems to be a mounting utilitarian pressure and a correspondingly growing concern on the part of the academia to mitigate this threat, or, at the very least, to strike a balance. Since it is the very workings of the capitalist system that pushes universities to succumb to consumerism, it has been assumed, but wrongly, that freedom is a phenomenon that goes hand in hand with free market. When this is applied to the education sector, there came a tendency which defines education as something tradeable. As a result, what matters most is the tradeability and competitiveness of education.
According to some accounts, the US experience has gone to the extent of attaching universities to giant companies--an act or process which is currently known as "academic corporatisation" (Bostock 2002: 29). Drawing on Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins, William Bostock describes this phenomenon thus:Corporatisation assimilates universities to large business organisations and enables them to be run as such. For example Ford Motors entered a partnership with Ohio State University and the mission(s) of the university and the corporation are not that different. While Ford Motors cannot be expected to address questions of value judgement or morality, the corporate university can likewise eschew them, and pursue "excellence" which in practice means technical excellence (Bostock 2002: 29-30).Similar tendencies have also been observed in other universities outside of US:So widespread has this commitment been that even such an ancient and prestigious institutions as New College, Oxford[UK], has embraced it. The identical mission has even crossed the language barrier to the Université de Montréal[Canada] (Bostock 2002: 30).Among other things, this widespread corporatisation of universities has therefore imposed a disfiguring impact upon the traditional concept of excellence. Radically departing from the Newmanisqean idea of the university as a centre of excellence, the new meaning is so loose that it could mean anything. By way of indicating the degree to which the word excellence is adulterated, Bill Readings observes that Cornell University had once been given an award for "excellence in parking" (cited in Bostock 2002: 30).
Now, the question that is worth considering at this point is, What is the general trend around the world? In order to comprehend the meaning of capitalist consumerism and its impact on university education in the global context, it is important that we be acquainted with the general trend of globalisation and the practical measures its agencies are currently undertaking. Forces of globalisation such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are working ruthlessly to bring the economic, political, and cultural lives of many people around the world under their hegemony. The education sector is no exception in this regard. The agreement which is known as the General Agreement on Trade in Services (an agreement signed in 1994) is a multilateral agreement that proclaims health and education as tradable services (WTO 2000).
The other WTO document known as General Agreements on Trade and Services (GATS) was specifically launched in order to attack the constitution of public universities (see Cohn 2000). In other words, public universities are somehow regarded as enterprises that should be squeezed to market demands, or as conservative elements which should be pushed aside in favour of private institutions. In Australia, this utilitarian call has been known to have been echoed by certain university authorities. Accordingly, the Vice-Chancellor of Murdock University attacked public universities as "inefficient institutions that need the discipline of the market to get them into shape" (Cohn 2000: 9).
This outrageous attack on university education in general, and public universities in particular, is not confined to the developed world, however. Due to the heavy-handedness of development aid in the underdeveloped parts of the world, universities of poor countries have already started to suffer out of the global capitalist consumerism. A case in point here is the proposal the World Bank prepared for restructuring African higher education institutions. The conditions the Bank sets include cutting the number and the size of universities, privatising them, and putting major administrative and academic matters (including designing curricula) under the direct jurisdiction of the Bank.
Authorities of various African universities, like their counterparts in the developed world, have uncritically accepted the principles and practices of the new consumersim. Professor Souleymane Niang, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar, Senegal) upholds:The university, which is essentially the privileged place where knowledge is elaborated and transmitted, in other words, a centre for the development of skills and the promotion of research, should from now on grow into an international forum for scientific meetings and exchanges and cooperation. It developed into a centre for peace, solidarity and development-oriented educational strategies and promote awareness of environment issues (Niang 2000).In the first place, the vice-chancellor does not seem to have a clear idea of what a university is. His statement consists of rather contradictory notions. Beginning with an apparently appropriate representation of what a university is all about--this is reflected in his view that the university is a "place where knowledge is elaborated and transmitted"--the vice-chancellor’s statement later on confuses it with technical or specialized schools. And worse still Professor Niang ends up by characterizing the university as if it is an organization that is committed to promoting narrow goals in a way comparable to an international youth association like Young Men’s Christian Association, which is widely known by its acronym YMCA.
Besides, there is a yawning gap between the topic under which the vice-chancellor made his address and the contents it actually discusses. (I need to note this point because the gap in question has got an important implication for the discussion soon to follow.) Whereas the address of the vice-chancellor is titled "African universities and globalization"--a rather loaded topic from which one could expect to have, at the very least, a cursory look into the constraints globalisation has brought about, the entire discourse does not mention a single difficulty. The address is simply full of eulogies in praise of the trend of globalisation, and the benefits it can accrue for African universities. One of the perils of such an official oration is that African universities would be forced to passively receive and endorse any thing from without. In the face of World Bank’s higher education reform programmes I discussed above, for example, if the kind of position adopted by Professor Niang is to be shared by other African university officials, which is the case mostly, African universities could easily be preys to consumersim at a much higher rate than the degree of technocratic influence they might have encountered so far in comparison to their counterparts in Western nations.
This tendentious position on the part of university authorities--I mean the readiness to, happily and uncritically, embrace the thought and practice of consumerism--is not of course confined to African universities. From the examples I gave above, we can see that consumer-friendly arguments do also come from Western university campuses, and interestingly enough, from chancellors. However, even if universities of Western nations might be equally troubled by the utilitarian movement like their counterparts in Africa, the very political and democratic culture encompassing the former would obviously enable them to mitigate, and at times, effectively meet the difficulties the market is trying to enforce upon them. The African experience, on the contrary, does have little, or no, ground for openly discussing and debating this incoming influence. But, more importantly, since the relationship between institutions that are behind the education reforms (such as the world Bank and IMF) and the universities of poor African countries is, as a matter of fact, so unbalanced a relationship, these universities would, sooner or later, be in a much more worse condition unless and otherwise politicians, the academia, and other concerned bodies stand together and fight back the threat.
4.2 Addis Ababa University and the Incoming Consumerism
In light of the conceptual considerations I have outlined under the first part of this paper, the utilitarian challenges particular universities have been facing--an account of which was clearly presented under the foregoing subsection--somehow demonstrate the general scope of the threat. However, it has also been shown that the degree of the pressures differed from one university to the other. More specifically, in an attempt to look into the variation in the degree of influence in question, I have tried to differentiate between two clusters of universities on the basis of the economic and political geographies in which universities function. As already noted, the degree of consumerism American university education has to face, and the manner in which it has been met differs from that of the African experience.
Similarly, when it comes to the Ethiopian situation, in particular, the utilitarian threat has peculiar manifestations. In the first place, the commercialisation of university education is a recent phenomenon in Ethiopia. In fact, during the formative stage of Addis Ababa University (i.e. at a time it seemed to have been stretched between, on the one hand, catering "useful" education, and, on the other, maintaining the stance liberal tradition propagates), there were some clear indications that it might have, sooner or later, started to indulge itself in considering the demands of the market. Given the modernization efforts of the imperial regime, and the emperor’s close Western affiliation, my presumption here is that the University would have been forced to take the needs of the market into account had the imperial regime reached the point of shifting mission priority to the need to satisfy the demand for skilled manpower. But, as is the case with the fate of any retrospective presumption, my projection becomes absurd because, in actual fact, the wheel of Ethiopian history turned Left.
However, before I pass to the utilitarian orientation that has started to invade our University recently, I would like to deliberate over my projection since it is still functional at the logical plane and has certain practical implications to the forthcoming analysis. Let me put it in a question form: Were the lifetime of the imperial regime got stretched a little farther to the point where it would have allowed the conditions I mentioned earlier to be fulfilled, could the mission of Haile Selassie I University have narrowed in the face of the consumerism that seems to creep into today’s Addis Ababa University? I very much doubt that it would have been vulnerable to the same degree of encroachment we witness today because the then academic as well as political leadership had a very clear sense of what a university ought to be.
As it has been hinted at so far, my central point here is that Addis Ababa University is being pressurized by a utilitarian orientation which has become fashionable since recently. Before I go to the exposition of this fashionable orientation in particular, however, I should touch upon the wider national context. This refers to the capitalist line of development the EPRDF-led government opted to follow since it took power in 1991, and the predominant place the ideology of consumerism seemed to have increasingly gained following the intervention of the international financial institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. After entering into a series of negotiations with these aid agencies, the Ethiopian government has implemented various reforms.
The extent to which the liberalization efforts have been successful is a point of concern for economists and other professionals with a similar stake. What sectors of the economy are much more affected is again another important point of inquiry. But one thing is clear here: the rhetoric that accompanies the liberalization efforts outweighs the practice to the extent of gaining an increasing domination over against local discourses at various levels. As instruments of the globalisation of capitalism, the principal centres for the dissemination of this rhetoric, which I call "economism" (Setargew 1998), are development aid agencies such as the World Bank and IMF. It suffices to consider one example here: the jumble of high-sounding and ideologically couched terms that the World Bank used in relation to the political conditionality it imposed on African countries at the end of the 1980s (World Bank 1989). At the level of rhetoric, the political conditionality the Bank set demands that it is time the governments of aid recipient countries accept to enforce political liberalization as a principal condition for receiving aid. This was in fact a commendable pressure had it meant what it seemed to convey.
Nonetheless, a closer examination of the conditionality in question, which is filled with terms such as "good governance," "accountability," "enforcement of the rule of law," "grassroots development," etc., as well as the practical measures that follow it, reveals a different story. The high-sounding terms just mentioned are in effect technocratic requirements. The demand for "accountability" is, for example, a demand that eventually boils down to financial accountability. In this regard, contrary to the contrived meaning the term "political conditionality" is given, the Bank’s political programme is essentially apolitical. In reality, it is a technocratic ideology engineered to depoliticise the discourses of sectors such as the media, NGOs, educational institutions, etc.
This technocratic ideology has also started to penetrate higher education institutions. But, what makes matters worse is that, this new trend has even started to affect considerations in curricular revisions in Addis Ababa University in a way that leads it away from the ideal of university education I expounded at the beginning of the paper. Market demand, which is fashionably referred to in most of the University’s recent workshops and official statements as "the interest of stakeholders," is being taken as a very crucial factor, and in some cases as the only dictating force behind curricular revision efforts.
Before I pass to raising particular examples that would substantiate my point, I would like to make it clear that my critique is by no means wholesale. In the first place, the fact that AAU should, as any other public institution, meet the growing demands of the society is not something questionable. Hence, it is not a degrading act if the University is taking the demands of the market into account. Secondly, as a university of a developing country that badly needs trained manpower, it is again inevitable that meeting the skilled manpower needs of various sectors be one of the paramount aims of the University.
Last but not least, the other important thing I would like to consider here is the need to differentiate between programmes. By their very nature, that fields of study like medicine, engineering, and law must cater "useful education," in contrast to the humanities and some in the pure sciences, is not a matter for debate.
But, the question worth asking here is, Do the measures the University is currently taking gauged in terms of the above considerations? The following facts force me to hold a very skeptical position. Just a few years ago, there was a university-wide move towards curricular revision. In addition to peer assessment, almost each and every department was required to secure the assessment of stakeholders so that its "license" could be renewed. The question whether a programme was saleable has invariably been a central concern. In fact, despite this indiscriminate imposition, it is my firm belief that many departments might have acted cautiously and wisely. There are certain indications that even the leadership itself is somehow struggling to mitigate the pressures of this market consumerism. The recent move to cater general education courses is one of the indicators. In fact, the practical works have already been started in 1999. A committee of three faculty members worked out the Proposal on General Education. Reflecting the line of argument I developed in this paper, the Proposal (which was actually presented by way of a report) stresses the significance of general education to the ideal of the disciplining of the mind. The report, for example, puts forward this well thought out statement:It is believed to enable students to construct intellectual and ethical frameworks in which to function and grow as independent, critical, responsible and humane citizens. General Education creates in students higher degrees of social awareness, sensitivity, and open-mindedness that will complement the knowledge and skills they obtain from their chosen fields of study and contribute to their success in real life. A carefully designed programme of General Education is a necessary and practical antidote against professional parochialism and the increasingly technical orientation of specialized knowledge (Tekaligne et al 2000: 1).When the document was presented to a two-days workshop held in Summer 2000, a few of the reactions from the audience exposed the serious misunderstanding lurking behind as to what general education is meant and the prominent place it has in university education. That was why some professors commented back that the workshop in question has uncovered that not only students but also the faculty itself should be instructed in the general education courses.
However, the evidence that substantiates otherwise outweighs. I would take here the case of some fields of study and programmes. The recurrent difficulties the undergraduate programme of the Department of linguistics has encountered could be taken as a case in point. When this programme was suspended a few years ago, the justification that the authorities seem to have in mind was opportunities for its graduates. Whether this was an actual problem at the time is questionable by itself. But this must not be the real issue at all. The matter Addis Ababa University must have considered was the academic values and importations that linguistics has. It would suffice here to refer to the standing it naturally maintains in research or advancement of knowledge for which a university is obviously committed.
Among the vast range of research linguistics covers, a cursory look into a research area or two demonstrates its un-debateable worth. The tools and methodologies that employs in order to bring out the fundamentals of the interface between language, thought and reality lend it a central place in inquiries that philosophers, psychologists, neurologists, etc. undertake. By virtue of being one of the basic sciences, the contribution of linguistics in the advancement of human knowledge is immense. In this regard, if our university is supposed to partake in the great research tradition that universities are entrusted with as a matter of principle, the market should by no means be given an overriding role in determining whether or not we need such a programme.
Nonetheless, even if one may take these broad undertakings as too luxurious for our university, there are still relatively modest but crucial functions that this science can help us execute given the concrete historical, cultural, and political situations that Ethiopia has to grapple with. Looking into the set of ethno-nationalist political and administrative premises that today’s Ethiopia is guided by would by itself be enough to observe the urgency with which we need linguistics. Even if the utilitarian concern is allowed to have an overriding role in whether a programme should be launched or suspended, the case of linguistics seems to suggest that this very criterion is not taken into account. When the undergraduate programme of linguistics was suspended two years ago, the utilitarian consideration was apparently the reason behind. But then, in reality this has happened arbitrarily because there has actually been a great demand for graduates from most administrative regions. When it is reopened in the 2002/2003 Academic Year, it happened equally arbitrarily; due to the overlap of two second year batches the Department of Linguistics is forced to share the burden by re-launching its programme. This does not however mean that members of the Department have not pressurized the higher authorities one way or the other.
Let us take the case of the Department of Philosophy. I would take this case not only because it isa case among many but also for the very symbolism it has when we speak of the traditional ideal of university education. In its effort to re-launch its programme, which it did at the beginning of the 2002/2003 Academic Year, the Department of Philosophy had to pass many hurdles. In addition to the negative prejudices powerful personalities hold against Philosophy--both as a field and as a department, the utilitarian orientation I have been discussing so far had been the major obstacle. Of course, there has been a widespread view many University professors, including those who hold key positions, hold: By way of an allusion to the disruption of the philosophy programme, many comment, "Oh! It is impossible to think of a university without a philosophy department." Despite this apparent support--a support which could not normally go beyond mere consolation--, the new curriculum the Department designed was turned down several times on the ground that it does not have particular and earmarked stakeholders.
What happened about a couple of years ago evidently illustrates the misconception in question. While the new curriculum was nearly to get a final approval, a workshop held at Nazareth happened to come up with a very strange pronouncement: Philosophy is, so the official statement runs, something "untimely." Subsequently, this statement became the official stamp that brought the progress at hand to a halt. However, more than the delay it caused, this red light has exposed the depth of the misconception that many seem to cherish here in our university. In the first place, such an attitude is based on the presumption that the Department does not have any earmarked stakeholders. But then, at the very least, thinking of the proliferation of colleges in the country would have been enough to inform the Workshop in question to realize the existence of stakeholders for the Department.
But, above all, the negative pronouncement reflects a much more serious misunderstanding which, as I already noted above, is very symbolic. The way the philosophy programme had been turned down is symbolic because it has an important implication to the mission of the University at large. Given that philosophy is a field of study that aims at the nurturing of critical, rational thinking, the act of rejecting philosophy as a major programme would not merely be a rejection ofa programme. In effect it is a rejection of the main mission of university education, i.e. the cultivation of man’s intellectual powers.
The manner in which the Nazareth Workshop reached the apparently obscure conclusion that philosophy is "untimely" has elicited a well thought out reaction from the Department of Philosophy. A lengthy quotation from the Minutes of the meeting of the Department is very useful for reflection. After noting the alleged reason for the rejection of the philosophy programme, the Minutes contends:…the absence of stakeholders cannot be a sufficient ground to reject a philosophy programme. This is because what is at stake is not the interest of individuals or groups but that of a nation and its future….areas of study such as philosophy need a strong support, financial or otherwise, by the government. It appears …that the New Educational Policy is misconceived and wrongly interpreted since it is not in the perennial intent of the government to finance areas of study that have strong stakeholders and close [down] areas of study that apparently lack interested stakeholders. The other excuse presented to reject the philosophy degree programme was the supposed lack of job opportunities. Unless there is an intent to reduce colleges and universities to technical and commercial schools, higher institutions of learning merit to be called one so long as philosophy is part of the general education of their students (Department of Philosophy, 2000).This reaction did not fortunately fall on deaf ears; it resulted in a positive response on the part of the authorities since the Department was asked to resubmit the new curriculum for a renewed consideration.
And yet, no sooner than this request was resubmitted, the Department was also asked to assess the interests of stakeholders as a precondition to launch the programme. This has further reinforced the suspicion that there is something amiss at the self-image of the University. In other words it seems to reveal that the University has a crisis in self-image. As some leading proponents of the philosophy of university education put it, one of the rationales for the existence of a university is its role to serve as a custodian of knowledge that would be pursued for the sake of cultivating the human mind. Thus, even if a given field of study does not have particular stakeholders in sight, the University must be the place where it should be kept and nurtured for the sake of the nation and humanity at large.
5. Concluding Remarks
Like many other universities around the world, Addis Ababa University has passed through formidable difficulties that have posed real challenges to its mission. During the first fifteen years of its history, the University had to grapple with the challenges it had to face by virtue of being the first university of a country that was embarking on modernization. As a result, the mission of the university had to maintain a delicate balance as it was sandwiched between the urgent manpower needs of the country and the requirements it ought to fulfil in terms of the philosophical principle that university education must aim at the cultivation of the mind to the highest possible degree. During the second phase of its history, Addis Ababa University faced an entirely new challenge. The obviously doctrinaire and pervasiveness of the socialist ideology, which the military government received as its official ideology, had tried to overshadow the provisions of the University to some degree.
However, as I have argued already, Addis Ababa University had more or less been able to protect its universal and philosophical mission regardless of the pressures the above-mentioned conditions exerted. That this had been the case could specially come out to light when it comes to the present context, viz. the apparently passive acceptance the incoming consumerism is getting in the University. One of the paramount reasons why this is the case lies in the subtle but the overwhelmingly powerful nature of the utilitarian orientation. The philosophical mission the University has been trying to retain so far seems to be threatened in an unprecedented manner. Added to this, as the indications noted in the foregoing section demonstrate, the other important element that is adding fuel to the danger in question is lack of a forum for discussing and critiquing the mission of the university on regular basis. And in order to protect itself from the increasingly brute forces of the market, one of the things that the University should do is working out strategies that help it attain a clear and renewed sense of mission.
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