Here’s a piece of radical Libertarian politics for you. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, Svenskt NÃ¤ringsliv, is a respectable mainstream employers’ organisation. Their people have identified a problem with the Swedish university system, viz, that unemployed people are entering undergraduate programs that do not actually make them employable. The Confederation points out the Humanities specifically. And they suggest a solution: students in these programs should not receive the same amount of study loans as other students.
I agree that the problem exists, but not with the suggested solution. The problem is actually due to the orthodox marketism that the Confederation espouses, where universities compete for students according to the students’ demand. If the students want an MA in queer Mickey Mouse studies, then that’s what Swedish universities will offer. Trouble is, the students are not making rational or informed choices. They do not know or care what education they need to have a decent career. They are 19 and choose on a whim.
My solution to the problem is to change whose demand decides what university programs will be offered. Don’t ask the students. Ask the employers, by means of the unemployment statistics. It is much cheaper for society as a whole if university teachers in jobless subjects are allowed to do research full time for a few years than if they have to educate a new generation of unemployed queer Mickey Mouse experts.