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In the past 100 years, the university has accepted another purpose: vocational training. Consistent with Humboldt, Abraham Flexner, trained at the University of Berlin, insisted that the university was no place for vocational training. However, the university—as has often occurred in its long history—has morphed into something new by accepting a purpose on behalf of external stakeholders. Since 1960, there has been a dramatic increase in university enrollments, and that increase has come from students who see the university as providing vocational training. The university has moved from “elite higher education” to “mass higher education.” The intellectual descendants of Humboldt and Flexner assert that the modern-day university is in “ruin” because it has compromised its role to engage in vocational training.
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- Critical Juncture II: Mass Education and the Demise of the Humboldtian University: The Great Paradox—University in Ruin Caused by Its Own Success
Edward W. Miles
- Chapter 6
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