'Blueprint for recovery'?


Madam, – The so-called “Blueprint for Recovery” seems to be a positive indication that the monkeys have been at the typewriters again; in particular the risible section on creating a “world class university” by putting all the third-level institutions together and make one big one. As has been pointed out in numerous world rankings, the “best” institutions in the world tend to be quite small; the report’s authors seem not to have noticed that, until recently, TCD was part of the top 50 for a number of years.

Also, the Blueprint is underpinned by the simple-minded obsession with the idea that those of us committed to working in such organisations are only of any real value if we directly service the economy. This is a tired old mantra, usually trotted out by those (in this case the neoliberal monkeys), who do not have much of an idea about the role and purpose of third-level institutions in a modern and complex democracy; or if they do, they don’t want to share it with us.

Is it not about time we began to have a mature debate around third-level education which goes beyond seeing it as either Butlins for the bourgeoisie, or knowledge factories and youth training camps for the labour market? – Yours, etc,


Cultures, Academic Values and Education Research Group,

School of Education,

Trinity College Dublin,

Dublin 2.