This is about the US, of course, and i is a disgrace. By Victor Davis Hanson, The Outlaw Campus. He begins:
Colleges have gone rogue and become virtual outlaw institutions. Graduates owe an aggregate of $1 trillion in student debt, borrowed at interest rates far above home-mortgage rates — all on the principle that universities could charge as much as they liked, given that students could borrow as much as they needed in federally guaranteed loans.
Few graduates have the ability to pay back the principal; they are simply paying the compounded interest. More importantly, a college degree is not any more a sure pathway to a good job, nor does it guarantee that its holder is better educated than those without it. If the best sinecure in America is a tenured full professorship, the worst fate may be that of a recent graduate in anthropology with a $100,000 loan. That the two are co-dependent is a national scandal.
Amongst his recommendations, what in particular appeals to me is this:
The old notion that a peer-reviewed article in a particular journal or a university-press monograph is the key to tenure has become antiquated in the age of the World Wide Web and the ubiquitous electronic audit of just about everything we do. Faculty are terrified of a future where one’s life’s work can be instantly accessed, and where its usefulness can be assessed by the number of scholars who consult it, footnote it, or buy it.