Firm and verifiable signs give a reason for legitimate concern and criticism of the path taken by public universities in European post-socialist states in the last two decades. Not fulfilling their social role and function, as guardians of knowledge, thought, critical reflection, and open-mindedness is a cause for serious concern. Universities have bowed to the aggressive logic of the market. Instead of resisting the purely bureaucratic and brutal administrative conditions and criteria imposed by the state, universities have completely and uncritically subjected themselves to the dictates of authorities and committees controlled by the state. Academics have become passive and apathetic slaves of robotized technocratic dehumanization. These phenomena have led universities to considerably fail to take care of the education of critically thinking citizens, of moral personalities and courageous civil intellectuals equipped with authentic and high-quality knowledge, and with self-respect, combined with an appropriate ethical self-understanding of their systemic and social role. Academics have lost awareness of their most important public role in the maintenance and progress of genuine democracy and the political system’s legitimacy. It seems that these universities have become almost non-academic. And they could finally become ‘un-academic’ due to the 2020 pandemic.
university, knowledge (as value), education, ethics, democracy.
Link to the scientific journal Šolsko polje. Revija za teorijo in raziskave vzgoje in izobraževanja (School field. Journal of Theory and Research of Education, published by Educational Research Institute):
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