人文科学危机

纽约—关于高等教育的未来,全世界的讨论显示出惊人的对称性。一方面,越来越多的人担心,在推动二十一世纪“知识经济”的领域,如工程和信息技术,美国和许多欧洲国家无法拿出足够的大学毕业生。这一担忧导致了教育这一概念的狭隘化,使其专指实践技能的获得。

另一方面,一些亚洲国家的担忧则是进入劳动力大军的年轻人经历了充分的技术训练,但缺少足够的“另辟蹊径”经验。这一担忧正在扩大教育范围、纳入对感觉和想象的培养的初步努力中逐渐显现。

这两个方向的发展根源都在于经济问题。在美国,大部分本科生或多或少都因为大学教育而背上了债务,给予科学、技术、工程和数学(所谓的“干”领域)学费优惠和贷款豁免的政治压力越来越大。将传统的四年学位项目压缩为三年、因此减少和取消文学、哲学和美术等“非实践”选修课程等成本削减措施也在讨论当中。

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