Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Good News About Universities

I complain a lot about universties; but it's because I genuinely love education, and I worry about how so many universities seem to have become these huge shopping mall bastions of Philistinism. What frustrates me about Mall University is that the administrators seem to believe that a University should follow the trends of the culture at large, with its love for 'one damned simplicity after another' as Philip Reiff phrased it. I remain firm in my conviction that universities should hang back from society at large, be a world apart that patiently studies those fixities that deserve to be fixities.

So, for once, let me note a trend in education that seems positive: "Dividing a large university into cross-sectional residential colleges..." The article is encouraging. Not only because a few of us actually went to small residential colleges and found the atmosphere to be intellectually exhilarating; but because a lot of students seem to be excited as well. For many of them, this reminds them of Hogwarts, and I'm guessing that part of the appeal of Harry Potter is that a lot of people wish they went to Hogwarts. And that's the irony here- this 'new trend' is basically a return to the old model of universities, some of which were the models for Hogwarts.

Note: I think the blogger's code requires me to add "Hat tip: University Diaries" because I saw this linked there.


The Pagan Temple said...

I've noticed that almost everybody says "hat tip". I'm too much of a contrarian to do the same thing everybody else does, so I say "Kudos to" instead.

Is Mall University the real name or is that a pseudonym you use for it? I know where you go to, but I'll never say.

Rufus said...

Yeah, it's sort of an inside joke in our department. I've tried to distance myself a bit from the real university, so that I can more freely complain about Universities in general!