Student fees are the natural and logical conclusion to the McDonaldisationof Higher Education. Critically examine this statement in terms of the traditional notion of a liberal education and what constitutes a university (see John Newman).
The term McDonaldisation can also be described as the process of rationalisation, Weber (1996) suggests the notion of Mcdonaldisation adds to the understanding of rationalisation process of modern social life. Webers process has clearly become more prominent as more areas of social and academicals life has been subjected to an intensification of formal rationality. The extension of Mcdonaldisation to areas, such as, education and training, art and music and many other educative aspects have fallen under the seemingly irresistible influence of rationality. Ritzer (1996) conceptually summarized McDonaldisation as "efficiency," "calculability," "predictability," and "control." Ritzer based is entire theory on Max Weber's nineteenth century concept of rationalisation, Ritzer sees the spread of rational organization into all areas of social life as inevitable, but also like Weber he is concerned that the application of rationality to social organizations increasingly disenchants the world and leads to an "iron cage" of bureaucracy and standardization, nowhere worry more salient than in the halls of academe. Newman address the issue of why a catholic university is necessary, although there was numerous alternative university choices available but he emphasis on the necessity for a unique and quality of liberal education. He analyse reasons why people should not just receive an education but also a liberal rather than professional education. From Newman's point of view a university is an institution that should produce a person of broad knowledge, critical intelligence, moral decency and social sensitivity but not as an institution that transform the fallen and a sinful human being.
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Newman observes that traditionally the classic, and the subject of thought and the studies to which they give rise, or the Arts, have ever, on the whole, been the instrument of education, he also explain some liberal arts were able in the middle ages to withstand the challenge of the new sciences of scholastic theology, law and medicine, because they were acknowledged as before, to be the instrument of mental cultivation and best guarantees for intellectual progress.
Student fee has been the standardization factor in the quality of education, the higher education authority now represents Weber's type of bureaucracy of promoting rational efficiency, continuity of operation, speed, precision and a calculative result. The process of Mcdonaldisation has led to increasingly dehumanising assembling line processing of higher education, the objective nowadays is to produce work through electronic submission, mailing process and make students as independent as much as possible. The old system has been branded as messy, expensive and time consuming, contact with lecturers this days is less due to the rationalisation of fund and availability of resources in the education system. Students attendance is more of a issue now, a certain percentage of attendance must be reached to stay on the course, this control is used for the purpose of efficiency and predictability to ensure students are committed and monitor the level at which they can survive on the course.
The McDonaldization of Higher Education has raised a number of issues that could be summarized in four categories: Labour, Government Involvement, Curriculum, and Technology. Professors use to own the tools for scholarship, control the labour process, approve and certify the quality of education standards, they are clearly more anxious about their relationship with the institution as Mcdonaldisation is threatening the education systen and its culture. As a result of basic student fee that is affordable to the majority, there has being rapid increase in student faculty ratios, mass classes, the use of low-wage teaching assistants and adjunct faculty also influence the job of professors,
Faculty are pressured to take on and try their best to retain students who are seen as "customers". With declining government aid in recent years for higher education, students are beginning to view education as a form of consumption and demand control, choice and edutainment, students opinions has become part of the promotion procedure as they are encourage to participate in survey similar to customer satisfaction survey. Faculty are also forced to publish, engage in funded research and develop new technological competencies.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
From the perspective of faculty, all these pressure of Mcdonaldisation represents a dramatic loss of pedagogical authority. Haye (2004) says the loss of pedagogical authority has dramatically influence the curriculum, as education becomes a mass market commodity and faculty being forced to keep students, who expect pleasant and good grades. This issue has been a universal concern but takes different forms. Although most high profile universities still maintain the quality and liberal education due to the cost of student fee and the availability of resources at their disposal. Both government and the student finance company are demanding accountability and standards, as a form of schemes for standardizing promotion and tenure quantifying the product, which is the quality of education being delivered and attempting to assure quality and control.
Alongside changing social division of labor produced by the ongoing Mcdonaldisation of academic production, the academy has been taken over by technological changes. The authors seem split between a hopeful post-modern view of computers and other communication machines are intervening the contacts between teachers and students and facilitating the kind of simulation which Ritzer (1996) celebrate as elaborate fake, design to amaze and delight students. However, Persell argues that digital technologies reinforce a "packet conception of knowledge" and transfer articulation makes education and online universities potentially profitable.
One of Newman's objectives was to persuade his audience to educate their children in catholic university in order for them to experience a liberal education rather than just a professional education. Liberal education is the formation of the mind, he also states that other institutions that exempt theology as a science are not a complete universities because through this fundamental omission they do not teach universal knowledge. Newman clearly defines a university as a place where universal knowledge should be taught in order to mandate the presence of theology as a science of sciences. He argues in his second theme that university education is virtually by definition distinct from instruction for a vocation or profession. He believes the main purpose of university education is the achievement of knowledge and expansion of outlook, turn mind, habit of thought, and the ability for social and civic interaction. Liberal education is simply the cultivation of intellect, which Newman describes as "intelligible as the cultivation of virtue while at the same time, it is absolutely distinct from it".
According to Newman, an education without religion influence would have a little effect in developing virtue, and religion is certainly capable of instilling such caring attitude in its adherents without the help of education. However, he made it clear that the assistance of church is necessary in order for education to function properly, as the church steadies the performance of a university and add to its integrity. From Newman's perspective, a university is an institution should that produce a person of broad knowledge, critical intelligence, moral decency and social sensitivity, but should not be seen as an institution for the fallen or sinful human beings. Newman says in Discourse VIII of the idea of a university that through liberal learning the university produces "gentlemen" who are describe as people with good sense of decency and honour, good taste, however, despite its polish and other benefits it is no rise above natural man. The liberally educated man should not be confused with a Christian, they only possess the attitude and sensibilities which tend towards the development of virtue. A good education built on the foundation of true religion can do a lot to assist the development of virtue, having the combination of this two will enable a more accurate and complete vision of reality.
Newman states clearly in Discourse II of the idea of a university that the exclusion of theology in university subjects comes as a result of rationalisation (Mcdonalisation), universities prioritize art and science over theology, they now focus on specified and limited subject instead of teaching universal knowledge. According to Ritzer (1996) university has adopted the process of Mcdonaldisation that he describes as "efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control", this process is influenced by the student fee, the resources and funds allocated to institutions is becoming less by the year which made it difficult for universities to render a liberal education if they are willing to. Liberal education involves a lots funding and commitment either from individuals or government, on the other hand, it is hard to maintain the quality of education nowadays because of the numbers of people in higher education has increased. The university now depend more on technology rather than human labor, there are numerous self-service machines in the university this days that convenient but not always fulfilling, such as copy card machine, library issue machines and other highly efficient system of accessing information, but the feed back process is poor, as full details of what students might require may not be included in the survey or form that is used to collect data and information from students. One on one service is essential as difficulties might arise, however, self-service gadgets saves time and improve research skills.
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In Discourse VI of the idea of a university Newman describe a person with liberal knowledge has a human with true enlargement of mind with capability to view things in relationship to each other and to the whole. Davison (1842) also says the role of a university is to cultivate public mind, purify public taste and prepare students for public life.
A university should constitute four essential attributes, which are culture, rationality, research and academic freedom. Robbins (1963)
The reasons why a university should prioritize culture is because culture suggests a shared set of meanings, beliefs, understanding an ideas within the institution, culture determines the ideas, concepts, theories, and research practices sustains the institutions identity. The recognition of culture takes several forms including the communication procedure. Becher (1989) argues they are less obvious to be noticed in academic community as a whole than in the discrete displinary sub-culture where they take different forms. The unity purpose across the university is achieved through culture, with the suggestion of a single universal knowledge, although knowledge is gathered from difference academic professions, ultimately all knowledge is bond together. According to Hirst (1983) different tests for truth in various form of knowledge, but at least those different corpuses of knowledge all counts to the total sum of knowledge, and the whole collection of knowledge becomes a single resource for solving problems.
Rationality has several implications on higher education, institutions are becoming more rational in their inner processes with members working together in articulating a shared view of university aims and fulfilling them in a corporate manner. Rationality is a matter of engaging in a dialogue with others in an appropriate way. Which means students needs to be aware of practical aspect of the life of reason and reach an insight into the cognitive and practical dimension of life. Students will have to examine their own thoughts, values, belief and practices, and also try to make connections between those intellectual activities and their general values, then have to exchange their point of views with peer, in this way they take on ethical demand of rationality. The whole idea of this process is to maintain efficiency, numerical performance indicators and managerial top-down decision making can be justified.
Research is the bedrock of higher education as they share much in common, both activities are built around structured inquiries, which are persistent, deliberative, more or less organised and set with a context of present knowledge that involves the element of interaction, dialogue, creativity, criticism, and problem solving. Barnett (1990) also says it is an attempt tp produce objective knowledge and independent of personal view, it is a systematic human endeavour intended to produce a level of personal knowledge. In literal sense, we can find outcomes of research on the library selves, or on the computer. Popper
(1975). the research process encourages students to have personal knowledge and human consciousness. The development of student mind is often assessed, and they are required to demonstrate the extent to which their consciousness has advanced through presentation, report and examination.
Shils (1984) explain the academic freedom enjoyed by the student community makes them generate their own academic ethics which the member of the academic community should fulfil if they are to warrant those privileges. There are various responsibilities that comes with academic freedom for students. Substantive responsibilities which works with the moral virtue that is attached to intellectual life, this process includes honesty and sincerity, not to indulge in cheating or plagiarism, avoidance of self contradiction and the intellectual courage to improve and hold a position of one's own. Another responsibility is the procedural responsibilities role such as, completion of assignments on time, attendance and undertaking other task related to the course duly. Academic freedom is a significant measure that is necessary for student to acquire the virtues of intellectual independence, toughness, empathy with others views and willingness to participate in a meaningful conversation.
Mcdonaldisation may simply be part of a pattern that has transformed higher education for years, but the main problem with the notion and the responses to it is that they are ahistorical. Rudolph (1990) Mcdonaldisation is clearly not new, in the 1850s academics complained of masses of under prepared students dropping the curriculum, grade inflation, emphasising individualism over social goal and selling practical knowledge at the expense of education. Overall, Mcdonaldisation of higher education is a provocative introduction to many views of the changes taking place in higher education.
Newman emphasis in his argument the expansion view of knowledge that should be involved in a university but also warn that such knowledge must not be replace by human imagination. The university must educate students in all subject possible that relates to daily lifes in order to be capable of active contribution to society, they also be exposed to physical science which will lead to indifference to religion. Catholic universities whose teaching includes Roman Catholic dogma by nature will prevent students from confusing the excellent ends of liberal education and still higher ends of true religion faith.