Universities are reluctant to introduce accessible hybrid learning methods such as lecture recording, a resistance to change which is tied to the profit motive in the neoliberal university.
There is a housing crisis but universities keep recruiting more students, as we are seen as profit-making ventures. The lack of the option for remote learning, which would be a temporary relief in the midst of this crisis and also make education more accessible to workers, parents, mature students who have other commitments, etc., can also be traced back to the profit motive.
Institutions require the in-person foot-fall to justify operating expenses (e.g. maintenance, running costs, salaries) or otherwise the government or other funding parties will provide a smaller budget next year. Similarly, if students were not in-person, they would not spend on university facilities, accommodation of 10,000€+ and the likes.
We have seen when our institutions lied about in-person teaching at the start of 2021 fearing deferrals, and the subsequent loss of profit. Real estate development and buildings for teaching or other purposes to impress donors for philantropic donations are a neccesary part of fundraising for the modern university.
There are also costs associated with the implementation of hybrid learning and equipment neccesary for it, such as cameras or mics. Many universities partially outsource their IT Support for cheaper and this would have to change if digital learning were to become a core part of learning.
It is equally an issue that trade unions oppose certain technologies, like lecture recording, because if they go on strike the university could simply replace the labor with the videos, over which the institution holds copyright.
These issues originate from a consumerist and marketized philosophy applied to education, and the only solution is that we students fight for public, free and fair education in solidarity with academic and professional staff in our institutions.
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