This appeared as a blog comment but seemed important enough to have its own thread. It’s from Malcolm King:
I’m interested in comments from Overland readers about my article in the Australian on creativity and the commodification of academic programs.
I was really targetting those unis who use the creative industries model.
The creative industries model allows students to pick and choose their subjects in the arts and humanities. So for example, students would take a photography major and concurrently study a range of subjects such as multimedia and creative writing and try import these ideas in to a new creative product.
This is the consumer model of education in action. The core idea is to lock the student in to years of questionable study across the credential spectrum and hope they get a job.
I used RMIT as an example as it went down the same path recently with bachelor and masters degrees in the creative industries.
The only reason I cite RMIT is that I am familiar with their programs as I am with many other universities. It’s part of my job. Most tier two or middle level universities in Australia offer similar programs at similar prices.
The current head of the RMIT creative writing programs, Professor Catherine Cole was peeved in a recent letter to the Australian after this article appeared.
She took exception to me simply stating facts obtained from the RMIT Office of Prospective Students. No one likes to talk about the money. That’s just the point!
In 2010 prospective students will pay $22,000 for a three semester program for a Master of Creative Media, $51,840 for a three year Bachelor of Arts in Graphics Games Design and $48,960 for a three year Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.
Of course students won’t have to pay up front, but when and if they get a job, that’s the type of money they will part with via the tax system.
Do creative writing or ‘creative media’ programs teach creativity? I suggest not. That’s a lot of money for not getting much insight in to the creative process.
What we’re talking about here is another “C” word — commodification.
So what do people think?