Sunday, July 19, 2020

COVID-19 not all bad news

Even the darkest cloud has a silver lining. One very very good thing could come out of the COVID-19 situation - it could be a disaster for universities.

In Australia universities are closing campuses and laying off thousands of staff. This is the best news for Australia in decades. With any luck some universities will shut down for good. And a lot of academics will end up on the dole. 

A university education is only beneficial for a very small proportion of the population, probably 10% at most. For anyone else it is not merely useless but actively harmful. Our universities are churning out immense numbers of graduates, most of whom we simply don’t need. There is nothing more dangerous to a society than excess university graduates. They become a serious social problem. They swell the ranks of political activism and are a threat to the very survival of our civilisation.

It’s not just the graduates with Mickey Mouse degrees in gender studies or women’s studies. The single most dangerous thing for any society is a surplus of lawyers and we already have a massive over-supply of lawyers. Most university business courses are only marginally less useless than gender studies courses. And how many economists do we actually need?

And of course there are the pseudo-sciences, such as anthropology and climate science. 

Not that I’m cruel or vindictive. I would like to see those now useless academics offered retraining so that they can become useful members of society. They could be taught valuable skills. Like digging ditches, waitressing, truck-driving.

My one great fear is that idiotic governments will bail the universities out. This needs to be resisted. The universities should be allowed to die. If our society is to survive they must be allowed to die.


  1. I think so far it's pretty obvious they're not gonna die. They're not even going to get significantly cut. They'll just switch to remote education for the poor and traditional education for the rich.

  2. Probably similar to the USA & UK, where the universities have benefited (i.e., grown rich and complacent) from vastly increased fees from overseas students, who are mainly Chinese of course.
    Trump is trying to eject foreign students if they only study online, as they could obviously do that at home. This will kill off a lot of the lower-quality universities - good! Hopefully the UK will follow his lead.

  3. In the United States, colleges have practically unlimited budgets and financing thanks to no-questions-asked student loans. Despite this, the number of students willing to be scammed drops every year. My alma matter, which 20 years ago had almost zero Chinese or Indian students, is now at least a quarter total native Chinese and Indian.

    So many problems in our society stem from the saturation of colleges across the landscape, and the concept that everyone needs to go to college. I don't know if the myth of college can survive if a quarter or half of colleges go under.

    A modern business education prepares you pretty much just for a job in the managerial class, even as the corporate world speeds up M&A activity and downsizing. Eventually, that scam will have to go under, too.

    The elimination of college sports would be another wonderful outcome of the pandemic, but one can only ask so much. Surely, professional football and probably basketball can only survive with massive public funding at the university level. If this evaporates, it's game over.

  4. For a good read (& agood laugh), try Hector Drummond's, "The biscuit factory". It's a great snapshot of university debauchery.

  5. Ever noticed how Universities have "acquired" many skills for study that used to be taught by TAFE. An example of market expansion by universities by shifting costs Person to State to Nation.
    Businesses casting off education of apprentices - same thing.

  6. The courses that some of these students flock to, such as anthropology, social sciences, history, behavioral psychology and such, are over-enrolled and worse, the students have no idea where these same courses would be useful. When they do hear of openings and the conditions, their political indoctrination into the Communist Left leaves them either omitted from the pool or they won't go anyway. Such courses ARE actually useful in military fields where accurate assessment of opposing cultures is critical in order to create successful operation plans - yet almost none of these graduates would ever 'lower' themselves to take instruction from someone else.
    On top of that, here is an old story told to me over thirty years ago:
    A young man on his first day at the job was receiving instructions from the Lead Foreman.
    "Here is what we need, take the broom and sweep up the shop, make certain to get into the corners. When you are near the other machinists working, be certain to ask where you clean up around their work space."
    The young man replied, "are you aware I have completed University with a Degree?"
    "Oh sorry, here is how you operate a broom."