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Article

Трансформация университетов в условиях глобального рынка

University education is a social institution (similar to any other social system) closely interrelated with "everything else" in the society. The ongoing globalization processes not only radically changes the societies in general but it transforms the very nature of the university education and its "ideal type", as well Today the universities all over the world absorb new sets of values and model. The main trend is that the university becomes a corporation. The university is no longer regarded as the temple of knowledge but the marketplace of educational services. If it is so, then the principle of economic efficiency dominates all other dimensions of the model. The university is a lonely player on the market and its survival is totally dependent on its capability to be successful by means of producing competitive products. Modern (actually post-modern) system of university management installs the principle of TQM (total quality management) which means that every single "cell" of the university (including individual professors, laboratories, any other entities) is tested for its economic efficiency invested in an overall efficiency of the university. AH other characteristics are by far, secondary. From a perspective of students and their parents (i.e. "clients" in the new terminology), the university is a shopping mall of useful knowledge. Today's university provides its clientele with an almost unlimited choice of educational products which are often educational hybrids and composite subject matters hidden in attractive packaging. The process of learning today, in public expectation, should be:

(1) pleasant,

(2) easy-going,

(3) making a self-satisfactory impression on a client that he/she gets the best possible product and "knows everything" (which is false),

(4) widely advertised, etc. (George Ritzer). This situation is understandable because without the masses of clients the university, as a corporation, simply collapses. Such a model of higher education practically eliminates fundamental knowledge by replacing it with useful knowledge. Unpopular fundamental disciplines become the realm of exotic knowledge for a few dedicated individuals, recruited mainly from first generation immigrants, but not for the wide use. The discussed model of a corporate university is not a product of sociological fantasy and science fiction.It exists and works in many American universities and is seriously conceded as a model for the Russian system of higher education. The problem, however, is in the fact, no matter how we like or dislike it, that this model is almost inevitable under the conditions of globalization and comes in one package with it.