The price of knowledge and the wisdom of innocence: A difficult journey through the employability discourse in higher education

Barkas, Linda Anne and Armstrong, Paul-Alan (2021) The price of knowledge and the wisdom of innocence: A difficult journey through the employability discourse in higher education. Industry and Higher Education. 095042222110162. ISSN 2043-6858

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Abstract

Through the examination of knowledge artefacts, utilising an analytical metaphorical representation, the authors present an exploration of higher education. In this way, the exploration is depicted as a schizophrenic, dichotomic journey through the difficult discourse of knowledge, wisdom, and employability in higher education institutions. The article explores how the place and value of knowledge appear fractured in the higher education curriculum. Applying Root Cause Analysis, it is argued that the marketisation, commercialisation and commodification of higher education, with the resulting emphasis on economic value through the employability of graduates, has created unintended consequences in the sector. To insert employability initiatives, something has to give in the module structure so that everything can be fitted in. That ‘something’ is the sacrifice of wisdom within the deeper knowledge of a subject. The authors argue that the depth of knowledge has unintentionally been negatively affected by embedding employability. While some students position themselves strategically to use their education for their individual gain, others want to learn more deeply, and become anxious that they do not have the time to reflect on what they have learned. It is recommended that a deeper reflexive conversation must take place between all stakeholders in higher education if it is to have a future in economic terms.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Business
SWORD Depositor: Publication Router
Depositing User: Publication Router
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2021 09:53
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2021 09:55
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/13528
ORCID for Linda Anne Barkas: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3907-9193

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