Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

As it happened, on the same day I was passing through Boston, on my way from a conference at Brown University in Providence, a dozen people accused of crimes relating to the US college admissions cheating scandal were appearing in federal court in this university city. The theme of the conference was "Building the human capital of tomorrow: a global responsibility". Academics from Mexico, Peru, Turkey, the US, China, the UK, France and SA, to name a few, were discussing the relevance of higher education to tomorrow’s workplace requirements. The views were diverse; some thought higher education did not sufficiently prepare students for tomorrow’s human capital requirements. Others thought it just needed a bit of tweaking, and still more thought universities had a broader social purpose and should not be judged by how well they prepare students for a job. While the academics themselves might have been undecided about the precise role and effectiveness of universities, the circumstance...

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