Morquendi and Mahangu have a responses to Private Universities, centering around a very simple and compelling narrative – The rich will use private education to oppress the poor. Like the Bush administration, they focus on the story and not reason, a pretty effective strategy. Actually, like a lot of people. It’s a good strategy.
1. Create an Enemy
I like how the Right Wing is so compassionate when it comes to the topic of private universities. For the past few weeks all they have talked about is how many students miss making it to university, and how new private universities will help make room for more students. How very nice of them. (Mahangu)
… Who made this estimate? The World Bank. Need I say more? The World Bank thinks it can run Sri Lanka better than the Sri Lankans can. The only think I can say about their attitude is ‘neo-colonialist’.
You guys make it sound like you’re doing this out of the sheer goodwill in your oh-so large hearts. I don’t think so. You don’t give a damn about those 85,000 students. All you give a damn about is the money. (Morquendi)
In this case, demonizing the opponent replaces reason. There’s no need for a coherent argument on private universities if you can simply establish that the World Bank and the Rich are evil. Then it doesn’t matter what they say, they’re simply assholes. This is a very effective strategy cause the brain is built for fight-or-flight personality judgements, not policy and math. Character assasination is used especially well by the Republicans, with John Kerry and Al Gore as recent casualties. It’s a good way to win at any cost. If it comes to arguing whether the rich and the World Bank are simply malicious, then I can’t really debate that cause its a pretty wide chasm. I think rich and poor people are both OK and should be judged on their actions, and same for the World Bank.
2. Stick To the Story
Private universities are not going to educate those who deserve it. They are going to educate those who can pay for it.
The story here is that Private Universities will simply sell degrees to the highest bidder. I personally haven’t seen examples of this at, say, Harvard, but its possible. There are a lot of countries which are currently trying out privatization with mixed results that they could draw comparisons from, but as is this assertion is just laid out unsupported. You could look to “Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, where private universities enroll the majority of students—in some cases upwards of 80 percent. (International Higher Education).” Do those people not deserve their degrees? Why not?
The private universities are going to charge money. *A vast majority of the 85,000 cannot afford it*. Since Indi seems to be in with the stats maybe I should ask him to find out how many of these 85,000 students who should be in university are from rural areas and will not be able to pay over one lakh for their degrees. Face it Indi, even if you’re a straight A student, if you can’t pay, you don’t get a seat. Sorry.
Why ask me? If you want to make a statement this bold you can research it. Google has opened a whole new world to me, man. I’m actually doing some reading to see if Private Universities are elitist for another post (Google: education privatization case studies). I’ve done some brief reading and it looks like “in general, private universities are found at the lower end of the prestige hierarchy in Asia.” That is, they go for the high volume poorer students. I’ve been reading an International Finance paper on examples from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Peru, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey. It seems that a lot of courses are very career oriented (tourism, IT) and people take loans from family and often the company itself to pay. Then they get work straight out, and pay off the loans over years, like students in Canada or the US. This is, of course, more complicated than a simple drama of rich vs. poor. In that case, the facts are secondary to the story, if not irrelevant.