Noam Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist, spoke at the University of Arizona on Feb. 8, 2012. His lecture, “Education: For Whom and For What?” featured a talk on the state of higher education, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Chomsky, an Institute Professor and a Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked for more than 50 years, has been concerned with a range of education-related issues in recent years. Among them: How do we characterize the contemporary state of the American education system? What happens to the quality of education when public universities become more privatized? Are public universities in danger of being converted into facilities that produce graduates-as-commodities for the job market? What is the role of activism in education? With unprecedented tuition increases and budget struggles occurring across American campuses, these are questions that are more relevant than ever.