Sunday 29 January 2017

The purpose of the UPS

In the process of preparing a homily for the feast of Don Bosco at the UPS, I got thinking about the purpose of the UPS, which led me to ask about the purpose of a university as such. A search on the net revealed an interesting article: "The day the purpose of university changed" (athttp://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20150130071933584). That day seems to have been a remark of Ronald Reagan's, questioning the concept of liberal education and advocating job-oriented education:
Reagan was staking out a competing vision. Learning for learning’s sake might be nice, but the rest of us shouldn’t have to pay for it. A higher education should prepare students for jobs.
And Reagan is famous for his communication skills. Mao said famously: Better a loud fart than a long speech. I remember Reagan being quoted somewhere: Better a simple lie than a complicated truth. The article I am quoting says:
The new governor didn’t spend time talking about the tension between Jefferson’s and Franklin’s visions. There was little political payoff in nuance. Reagan, one of his campaign aides told The New York Times in 1970, doesn’t operate in shades of grey: "He lays it out there."
Shades of Trump. Reagan was already doing it.

But my point is different. My question, my practical question is: should not the UPS be preparing Salesians for the hands-on job of formation? Put that way, it does sound something like what Reagan was pushing for.

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