The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 4, 2006

Philosophy of Education

Ponti Venter
Pages 135-145

Competitiveness, Rational Audits, Materialistic Values
University in Context

How to understand the "entrepreneurial university"? Three hundred years of popularised economic/philosophical thought, in which conflict/competition has been presented as progressive; lacking a normative context, this becomes warlike. Society presented as a "macro-market", linking people with money and media and frowning on political justice, leads to economism (economic totalitarianism). This instrumentalises universities and motivates bookkeeping rationality and goal rationality; the maximisation thesis guides managerial aims. Scholarship becomes industrialised and leadership managerialised. Empty concepts of "quality" and "competitiveness" become audit measures of "excellence"; this is standardised scholarship, serving hedonistic leisure class values and neglecting perspectivised creative, critical involvement with the suffering world.