Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Telling Choice of Words

It was hard to avoid reacting to this lead sentence from an article on the BBC News Web site about the free trade agreement that Australia has signed with China:
Australia's international education industry will benefit hugely from a major trade deal sealed on Monday with China, experts say.
Regular readers probably know that I continue to voice upset over how our country has come to call health care an industry in which market share is more important than the physical well-being of our citizens. I suspect that the shift to the computer-based delivery of course material has already established a similar industrialziation of education. However, it seems as if we deal with the sorry state of education in this country by ignoring it, while health care has become the favored battlefield for conflicts between extreme ideologies.

To be fair, the story about Australia seems to involved the fact that it will be easier for Chinese students to go to Australia to study at the universities there. In other words it does not appear as if the fundamental work practices of education are going to suffer as a result of this agreement. Nevertheless, the article is about market share, addressing the numbers of Chinese students coming into Australia in comparison with the number of Australian students choosing to get their education in another country. Like it or not, the bean-counters are in charge of the future of Australian universities, just as they are here; but here nobody seems particularly interested in paying attention to the state of affairs.

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