Krize humanitních oborů

NEW YORK – V debatách o budoucnosti vysokého školství po celém světě se objevuje pozoruhodná symetrie. Na jedné straně sílí obavy, že Spojené státy a řada evropských zemí nedokážou připravit dostatek univerzitních absolventů v oborech, které táhnou „znalostní ekonomiku“ jednadvacátého století, jako jsou projektantství a informační technologie. Tyto obavy vedou ke zúžení konceptu vzdělání na pouhé nabývání praktických dovedností.

Na druhé straně panuje v některých částech Asie znepokojení, že mladí lidé vstupující na trh práce se silným technickým vzděláním postrádají dostatečné zkušenosti s „nekonvenčním myšlením“. Tato obava se projevuje v rodící se snaze rozšířit vzdělání tak, aby zahrnovalo i kultivaci citů a představivosti.

Oba přístupy mají kořeny v ekonomických úvahách. V USA, kde většina studentů nese přinejmenším část nákladů na své univerzitní vzdělání, se stupňuje politický tlak na poskytování pobídek typu slev na školném nebo odpouštění půjček studentům vědeckých, technologických, projektantských či matematických oborů (takzvané obory STEM). Diskutuje se rovněž o opatřeních snižujících náklady, jako je omezení nebo zrušení volitelných předmětů v „nepraktických“ oborech typu literatury, filozofie či hudby a umění.

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