‘I resigned as a lecturer after the university did not fail social work students‘ is the title of a piece in Community Care, within which ‘a former social work senior lecturer details the on-going battle to maintain academic and professional standards amidst the marketisation of universities.’
The writer argues, “universities are prioritising customer service and student satisfaction rather than upholding professional standards and providing a rigorous but exacting education.
Many students, for their part, see themselves primarily as consumers rather than learners and have a profound sense of entitlement that if they have paid good money then they deserve a good degree.
The combination of these two forces – a demanding and vociferous student body who are quick to complain and litigate, and a squeamish management team who are more concerned about student numbers, generating income and ‘enhancing the student experience’ – make universities an uncomfortable environment for people like me to be working in.
Social work educators, desperately trying to raise the capacity and capability of the workforce with no support or understanding from university managers, are buckling under the pressure of maintaining ethical, practice and academic standards whilst simultaneously absorbing extra work.”
To what extent is this scenario reflected within youth and community courses in the present climate? From recent conversations with friends in academia it’s not wide of the mark.