Back to top

CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 1998

The Betrayal of Intellect in Higher Education

Mohammed Mujeeb Rahman, Toronto: OmniView Publishing, 1997; 170 pp; paper $16.95 ca
The primary purpose of higher education is the cultivation of intellect for its own sake, not a preparation for a specialized job-market. This book contends that most universities today are failing to fulfill this purpose since they have instituted the kind of academic programs, policies and practices that have actually subverted intellectual life and literacy in academia.

In this expose of some of the sacred cows of academia, the author examines several disturbing trends eroding the spirit of higher education:

  • impact of the bureaucratic mind-set on education and scholarship;
  • demise of an intellectual climate in academic institutions;
  • decline of intellectual literacy in post-secondary education;
  • dangers to intellect from specialisms, technology, and post-modern ideologies;
  • effects of the "flight from teaching" and the teaching evaluation fad;
  • damaging consequences of the publish-or-perish philosophy.

Along with a very readable and fast-paced historical account of some of the major ideas and models that have shaped the design and character of modern university education, The Betrayal of Intellect shows the universal nature of liberal education and presents a challenging perspective on the meaning and significance of higher education.

The ideas are controversial and the content provides food for thought to all readers academic and non-academic -- who are concerned about the fate of higher education.

This review was produced from information supplied by publishers.