For more information about Royal Holloway, please see this promotional video. To see a promotional video for the MA Consumption, Markets & Culture see here. To see a promotional video for the Royal Holloway School of Management, click here.

For more information about the Royal Holloway MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing and the application process see here.

To get an understanding of the unique values that underly the MA Marketing and MA Consumption, Culture & Marketing programme please read these blog posts: Value of Scholarly Values, Importance of Reading and Morris Holbrook and Business Interest in Education.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Universities, Profit and the Creation of Cultural Content

The UK Government Universities Minister David Willetts has expressed his support for more for-profit 'university' provision. The rationale is classically economic- he argues that for-profits will help to lower prices and increase consumer choice.

But there is something missing from the for-profits.They haven't created any of the collectively produced cultural content, the knowledge, that they retail. They play no part in filling the collaborative well from which real, non-profit, universities all draw. And they have no investment in the critical thinking which defines a Western university level education.

Of course, real universities are hardly immune from the commoditization of knowledge. But they have a moral legitimacy because of the stuff they do collectively to build that cultural content. For-profits in general pay their staff only to teach, while non-profits pay their staff to do that and also to review and edit books, articles and journals, to examine PhDs and courses, and to engage in debates around research, policy and public understanding.

This cultural content is mostly free to the user, yet the for-profits are packaging and selling it. So is that cultural plagiarism?                    

This op-ed piece is a shorter version of one on my own blog If you're wondering if the world really needs another self-promoting opinion-fest of a blog, blame Dr Bradshaw, whose solicitations to contribute to the MA Marketing blog led to my blog-epiphany. Thanks Alan!        

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