Symptoms of the Failure of University Education
The symptoms of the failure of higher education include corruption, poor governance, bad institutions, instability, poverty, terrorism, poor infrastructure and similar problems. These symptoms are regularly cited as the causes of underdevelopment and there is an army of “experts” in and out of academia who study them as such.
We make generalizations where they are obviously called for. As defined, persistent underdevelopment is a problem that shows the same symptoms in every country, where university graduates often cannot independently make things work without the supervision of expatriates. Depending on the size of revenues from natural resources, the size of foreign aid, globalization, or a lack of these, the number and intensity of symptoms from this problem may differ from one underdeveloped country to the next. The history of each country also may be uniquely different. But in varying degrees, the incurable symptoms of the problem are the same: corruption, political instability, poor institutions, war, terrorism, poverty, dependency, etc. These incurable symptoms have been forever studied by “experts” as independent “causes.” This has been a waste of time that does not lead to a solution. (chapter 4)
High revenues from oil exports or globalization cannot fully address these symptoms. The only cure is an increasing number of people with managerial competence, the type of people that university education claims to graduate but does not.
Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr.