The Traditional Notion Of A Liberal Education Education Essay

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Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings. The broad goals of liberal education have been enduring even as the courses and requirements that comprise a liberal education have changed over the years. Today, a liberal education usually includes a general education curriculum that provides broad learning in multiple disciplines and ways of knowing, along with more in-depth study in a major. The universities will be borrowing liberally from all indeed they will come to be a pastiche of diverse elements derived from them and from many others of course and combined with elements that are holdovers from its past, in fact this combination of traditional and more contemporary elements will make the university of the near future even more postmodern than it is today. A major problem facing today's university is that, at least in comparison to many of the modern mean of consumption, it is a descript mode of consumption. As a result, it is coming under pressure, at least in part, because there is a growing sense that it does not do a very good job of allowing students to consume education.

Its improvement of the schools and colleges of further education, government is now set to change higher education. At issue here is higher education in Scotland, but the analysis has wider applicability. It operationalises Ritzer's concept of 'McDonaldization', and the latter's dimensions of efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control (both formally bureaucratic and informally fraternizing). The analysis is set in relation to the government's earlier educational reforms, particularly of further education, and argues that its plans for higher education are of a piece. All this is related to current economic and cultural change: that is, to the fiscal pressures on the welfare state, and to the emergence of post-modern culture. the increasing number of adult students, often returning to school after a hiatus, are even more likely than other kinds of students to adopt a consumerist orientation to higher education, in part because they have more experience at it and in part because they are usually spending their own money. All they want of higher education is simple procedures, good service, quality course, and low costs.


The term ' McDolization' was coined by George Ritzer in 1993 and is a valuable tool for providing a theoretical and practical debate concerning novel and defining features of our contemporary world. The contributors to this collection, academics and writers from three countries examine the McDolization of higher education in contemporary society. The growing literature on McDolization shows the power of the term to describe the extension of industrial rationalization (commodification) to wide society. In the context of higher education,one can see the application of Ritzer's for features of McDolization, efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control… for example higher education is becoming more efficient because it is processing more students by introducing multiple choice exams (US) or by removing exams altogether (UK) and replacing them with form of continuous assessment, which leads to grade inflation and more students passing.

The contributors to this volume, 15 academics and writers from three continents examine what can be called the 'McDolization of higher education' and the impact this has on the idea of the university as a liberal institution primarily engaged in the pursuit of knowledge. McDonalization may represent a sea of change or simply by part of a pattern that has transformed higher education for hundreds of year one problem with the notion and these responses to it is that they are a historical, although a few authors suggest that Ritzr's theses relies on a myth of golden age, and Alan Hudson's contribution examines the historic mission of university, non more beyond grand theory to examine actual universities over time. Mcdonaldization involves an increase in efficiency, predictability, calculability and control through the substitution of non-human for human technology. While undoubtedly bringing with it many positive developments, Mcdonaldization also in valves a wide range of irrationalities, especially dehumanization and homogenization. McDonalation of higher education is a provocative introduction to many views of the changes taking place in higher education however, determining the actual effect requires less armchair sociology and more detailed structural and history analysis.


Most markets are regulated. In Ziman's succinct definition: 'it 'a market' is a social institution for the systematic exchange of commodities for currencies between vendors and customers. In education, there is an emerging 'quasi-market' not a free-market. But, as in a free-market, the quasi-market of education requires competition. Rewards accrue to the winners. A cascading Darwinism suffuses the system. A reward will only be made when the 'products the goods or services are 'delivered', on time, to the customer's specification, efficiently. And the product must be definable and comparable, thereby allowing the customer to 'shop around'. In higher education, there has been a shift in the mode of funding: from up-front block grant to performance-related funding. Funding now follows performance rather than precedes it.


To render objective that which is subjective is part of the modem endeavor. To quantify the qualitative is a necessary step to take in the quest for comparability, for competition, for efficiency. In schools, national tests and league tables of schools have been issues fraught with political, intellectual and professional debate, one yet to be resolved. In higher education, the notion of calculating the means and ends of education is gaining ground .In Scotland for example, the Quality Assessment Committee (QAC) established by the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) in October. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is reportedly about to introduce a graded scale of assessment on each of six 'core' aspects of provision, to be marked on a one-to-four scale. The chief executive of HEFCE is reported to have said that a numerical scale has many advantages, including the one that it would parallel the research selectivity exercise (Times Higher Education Supplement, 1994, p. 1). This may point the way forward for Scotland. Clearly, an ever-greater 'objective' and numerical refinement of teaching quality implies not so much a diagnostic and developmental purpose, but rather a judgmental, norm-referenced and competitive purpose, setting institutions in a competitive relationship to each other.


An element of Ritzer's notion of predictability is product standardisation. The Robbins Report had done much to standardise the institutional provision of tertiary education bringing together a range of different types of institution. This has been taken further by the recent removal of the binary divide between the polytechnics and the universities. But the new higher education still lacks product standardisation. There is no national curriculum for higher education--neither legislated nor stated as guidelines. But there are signs already which point the way to it. First, the government faces in higher education a 'system' of examinations which some might regard as being a diverse, incoherent and overly-autonomous mishmash. A similar range of uncoordinated examining bodies had existed in Scottish further education before 1983. In higher education today, their counterparts would be the university senates.

Student fees

As in England and Wales, education in Scotland has been changing. The reforms of primary, secondary and further education are in various stages of development. Now the focus of policy-makers is moving up, so to say, Higher Still (SOED, 1994) to the reform of upper secondary education, and beyond to the universities. For the latter, external scrutiny is very much on the agenda. Institutional auditing has emerged, initially self-monitored, unthreatening. But a steady conversion process has begun, with assessment shifting from internal assessment to external inspection, encompassing evaluations of research and of teaching, both with financial consequences. Again, as with the earlier reforms of schools and further education in the 1980s, the justification has been the quest for quality, for efficiency and effectiveness.

According to student fees 'student loans are loans offered to student to assist in payment of the costs of higher education'. British undergraduate and PGCE student can apply for student loans through their local education authority (LEA) in England and Wales, the student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), or their local education and library board in Northern Ireland. The LEA, SAAS, or education and library board then assesses the application and determines the amount that the student is eligible to borrow and as how much tuition fees, whether the parents or student must pay.

Loans are provided by the student loans Company and not have to be repaid until the April of the after student have completed their course and are earning minimum 15,000 a year. However, the monthly threshold is 1250 so if a student earns over that in one month (say due to working overtime) student will make a payment towards to their loan that month even if their gross yearly pay is less than 15,000. There is the higher education ACT 2004 which made significant changes to the loans system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2006. Those with sufficient private funding can still pay tuition fees 'upfront' but everyone who satisfies criteria, regardless of their income, is now entitled to take out a lone to pay their fees.

Student who started their courses prior academic year 2006/07 are entitled to borrow additional loan to cover their tuition fees (which remain at the old rate).critics claim these top-up fees will create tiers of 'expensive' and 'cheap' universities and make university financially inaccessible to many students. As a result, there have been national demonstrations and protests by students unions.

The Higher Education bill presented to parliament will enable different universities to charge variable 'top up' tuition fees for degree courses. Different fees can also be charged for different courses. Currently most student pay an upfront fee of £1125 a year. About 30% of student from the poorest families are exempt. However, the fee barely the real cost of tuition.

In my opinion, these days the price of education seems awfully inflated so I think the government should decrease the amount of student fees and also families should support them in education. Many children in this world grow up without an education. There are many children whose families can barely afford food. My point to this is student should appreciate that they can take a loan and be educated. I think the disadvantages of university fee is that poor student cannot pay full fees however I recommend that government should reduce fees for student from poor families.