Academic Buddhism is Expensive

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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Mr. G » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:06 pm

Harvard Library: subscriptions too costly, faculty should go open access

The problems with state funding may be hitting public schools hard, but even some parts of elite private institutions are feeling the sting of rising prices. That was the message sent by the Harvard Library's Faculty Advisory Council, which says the costs of subscriptions to major research journals "cannot be sustained." It says that the cost of these journals has gone up by 145 percent over the last six years and, if things continue at that pace, it'll be forced to cut back.

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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:54 pm

In the UK, Universities and Colleges are not a public service any longer, and place little value on anything academic.

They sell their services to students and receive money from Government based on attaining targets of various kinds.

I can recall no target which involves making study less expensive or more specialised - in fact, the institutions get a slap on the back for such things as attracting hordes of overseas students who pay more than home students (who are increasingly unable to afford the massive debts their fees create).

My local university has huge numbers of Chinese students, local further eduction colleges have many overseas students. Many of these overseas (and home) students have poor English and the institutions hand out degrees with considerable regard to the amount of money a student has paid, and their place in the league tables with their pass rates. PIle em high, sell em expensive.

In short, the business of education is the education business. 'Academic' activity is of no interest unless it pays well and/or attracts valuable sponsorship.

I'm not cynical, btw, but was formerly responsible for university and college recruitment and also a college assistant principal (responsible for marketing) with massive student recruitment growth targets and decreasing state funding to pay for it - hence brilliant academics in unprofitable subjects get axed and we have huge growth in subjects which lend themselves to packed lecture theatres offering pick and mix degrees with easy exams and no real job prospects. In fact, employment prospects in the UK for graduates are the same as for non-graduates, i.e. very poor.

I don't imagine universities in previous centuries could support academic Buddhism without very wealthy sponsorship or a population and/or government which valued such studies greatly enough to prioritise it. There is a wonderful PhD in Comparative Religion (with staff specialising in Buddhism) near my home - at £10,000 I think it unlikely I will be sellling my home to access it. ;)

Make the best of it . ;)
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:05 pm

Blue Garuda wrote:I don't imagine universities in previous centuries could support academic Buddhism without very wealthy sponsorship or a population and/or government which valued such studies greatly enough to prioritise it. There is a wonderful PhD in Comparative Religion (with staff specialising in Buddhism) near my home - at £10,000 I think it unlikely I will be sellling my home to access it. ;)

Make the best of it . ;)


Universities used to simply cost less. This was long before you had so much overhead expenses such as an inflated administration, bureaucracy and computer labs with top-end PCs that students use for Facebook and little else. Now you also have recruitment specialists, academic advisors, counsellors, secretaries to said staff members, additional accountants to look after all aforementioned staff as well as a board of directors or some such thing, all the members of which require additional staff members to facilitate their attendance of "meetings".

Of course all these individuals get professional salaries.

Meanwhile the librarians, instructors and professors (the people who actually do real academic work) get paid and hired less.

If universities focused chiefly on education and scholarship and let students handle their own problems (it is not the responsibility of a university to look after the mental or sexual health of students) while getting rid of all the unnecessary bureaucratic overhead, then the whole thing would cost the student a lot less.

In the old days, as one gentleman explained to me back in Canada, you could work during the summer and make enough money to cover tuition, room and board for the rest of the year. Now you have students who work full-time in the summer, part-time during the term and still fail to come up with sufficient funds to pay their tuition and expenses.
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Mr. G » Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:12 pm

Huseng wrote:Now you have students who work full-time in the summer, part-time during the term and still fail to come up with sufficient funds to pay their tuition and expenses.


This guy lived in a van while attending grad school:

I live in a van down by Duke University
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Indrajala » Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:54 pm

Mr. G wrote:
Huseng wrote:Now you have students who work full-time in the summer, part-time during the term and still fail to come up with sufficient funds to pay their tuition and expenses.


This guy lived in a van while attending grad school:

I live in a van down by Duke University


This guy is genius. Actually doing something similar for retreat would work, too. Park your van at a camp ground and just live and practice in it.
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:59 pm

Huseng wrote:[

Meanwhile the librarians, instructors and professors (the people who actually do real academic work) get paid and hired less.

If universities focused chiefly on education and scholarship and let students handle their own problems (it is not the responsibility of a university to look after the mental or sexual health of students) while getting rid of all the unnecessary bureaucratic overhead, then the whole thing would cost the student a lot less.

In the old days, as one gentleman explained to me back in Canada, you could work during the summer and make enough money to cover tuition, room and board for the rest of the year. Now you have students who work full-time in the summer, part-time during the term and still fail to come up with sufficient funds to pay their tuition and expenses.


I was one such student - 6 weeks inhaling soot and asbestos inside a massive boiler paid for the rest of the year.

The Uk Government is investigating the 'Gross Domestic Happiness' of the population.

I hope they understand that in Bhutan, Buddhism may take some of the credit. ;)
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby simhamuka » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:29 am

Huseng wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
Huseng wrote:Now you have students who work full-time in the summer, part-time during the term and still fail to come up with sufficient funds to pay their tuition and expenses.


This guy lived in a van while attending grad school:

I live in a van down by Duke University


This guy is genius. Actually doing something similar for retreat would work, too. Park your van at a camp ground and just live and practice in it.


Still digging up old threads... new forums are like new toys...

I know a monk who did just that. He lived out of his car in campgrounds all up and down the Rockies. Trouble was, the forest service kept telling him to move along. There were only a certain number of he could stay in one place. If gone out into the forest however....
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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby Clarence » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:59 am

simhamuka wrote:Still digging up old threads...


Hi Simhamuka,

Welcome. As long as you don't do it to bury the "Message to Gyatrul RInpoche" thread, I don't think anyone cares. My sincere question is, do you dig them up to bury that thread or are you just sincerely interested in these old threads.

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Re: Academic Buddhism is Expensive

Postby simhamuka » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Clarence wrote:
simhamuka wrote:Still digging up old threads...


Hi Simhamuka,

Welcome. As long as you don't do it to bury the "Message to Gyatrul RInpoche" thread, I don't think anyone cares. My sincere question is, do you dig them up to bury that thread or are you just sincerely interested in these old threads.

Best, Clarence


Yeah, I saw that accusation from Kunzang. He doesn't seem to like me much, yet I've never had any interaction with him in my life. I got your PM and responded. :)
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