I have my PhD, but what is the value of a university education?

Laura Kennedy: So much of what we do at third level is inefficient and silly

Four years ago: Laura Kennedy as a Trinity College PhD philosophy student in 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Four years ago: Laura Kennedy as a Trinity College PhD philosophy student in 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Four years ago in this newspaper, I wrote an article about falling in love with a man; a man who died in 1677. In March of this year, I wrote another piece about that man, the philosopher Baruch Spinoza. At that point, I was a month away from submitting my doctoral thesis in philosophy, which was heavily influenced by and including Spinoza, and I had fallen out of love with him.

I thought that he and I had spent such an excessive quantity of time together that we needed a break. I knew, however, that after a bit of time apart, I would gravitate back toward him again. Any woman would. It’s that dark hair, those brown eyes, that troubled loner vibe, that holistic theory of everything that equates God and nature within a universal monistic substance. Irresistible.

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