2012. október 17., szerda

The continuous neoliberalization of higher education and academia in Hungary

Viktor Orbán wants a sustainable and autonomous financial system in higher education, he explained in a speech given today at the Hungarian Rectorial Conference held at the University of Debrecen. Truly this might mark the coming of another wave of the neoliberalization of higher education and the academic sector in Hungary: the former should be financed by ever-more independent and autonomous citizens (fostering a growing urge of citizen decision-making aiming at better investments, and taking up loans to fuel the economy), the latter is "strategically" financed by the state according to efficient and returning research (the continuing marketization of science). Not only will researchers, but also students be more accounted in terms of their performance and "excellence" in order to receive - constantly diminishing - scholarships, in fact their "self-financing" will assure they take on professions that will provide them better opportunities to get jobs (raising again employment and efficiency of the economy), also influencing "a healthy competition" among institutions of education. At least that is the idea, a "good for everybody" principle in hard times of ongoing crisis. I am already afraid to think about at what (human) costs is this actually going to be carried out. After the agressive enserfing of students through obligatory contracts of bonding them to the nation state, Orbán now says that instead of a "you can leave here" message, he would be more familiar with a "you can return here" one. As the article explains:

"He emphasized, that his government does not look hostile upon those Hungarians, who temporarily leave the country to serve their own efforts, but it is unacceptable, that some professions in higher education are training professionals on taxpayers' money for other countries."

Well, I wouldn't personally want to return now. Especially since promising 'national' opportunities mean that I would earn 1/10 the money working in higher education at home (the government greatly depends that), than for example someone here in the UK (of course the domestic private sector would also be much better), but the prices in Tesco are almost the same in both countries. Or am I being too material now? Of course, I simply can't imagine who is going to change our beloved higher education, if it were not for mobile, enthusiastic and existentially independent young scholars, without of course again flooding themselves with another juicy, fat loan of some sort, taken up already during education.

Perhaps related (general) reading would be this.

1 megjegyzés:

  1. http://www.politics.hu/20120815/self-financing-higher-education-desirable-says-orban-opposition-slams-idea-as-leading-to-inequality/