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Weekly Review
May 13, 2022
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From The New York Times:
Why Critics of Angry Woke College Kids Are Missing the Point
By David Marchese
Political theorist Wendy Brown argues that academia’s battles over academic freedom, free speech, and wokeness occur because of a failure to recognize that campuses are not just one kind of space. She highlights confusion about whether the classroom is a civic space for free speech or governed by academic freedom. She concludes that classrooms should provide openness for all kinds of ideas and serve as places for students to try out their ideas, but they are not free-speech domains, which are for “civic space.” Read this article
From BigThink:
Teaching science as a liberal art
By Marcelo Gleiser
The author recognizes the importance of the integration of science and the liberal arts and argues that “to isolate science from the rest of human culture is to impoverish its role as an attempt to make sense of who we are in a natural world that seems indifferent to our existence.” When scientists believe their field stands above all others, it limits their ability to critically evaluate what science can and cannot do—and more importantly, what science should and should not do. Read this article

From Barron’s:
College Still Matters, Now More Than Ever
By Stanley Litow
Heated debate over the importance and necessity of a college degree has been driven in part by employers struggling to find talent, the skyrocketing cost of a degree, and the dangerous rise of an anti-learning culture. An effective and efficient higher education system is directly connected to the nation’s economic and societal stability. While higher education is far from perfect, the statistical case for a college degree remains overwhelmingly more beneficial to both the individual and society. Read this article
From The New Yorker:
A Teacher in China Learns the Limits of Free Expression
By Peter Hessler
This American professor and journalist, who has taught at China’s Sichuan University since 2019, reflects on his experience being reported for “political wrongdoing” based on comments on a student’s essay. Through this chronicle of his attempts to unravel the mystery of precisely what he did, he sheds light on the limits of speech in China, how faculty and students push back, and how the Chinese government uses the hyper-competitiveness of its education system to distract students from the nation’s propaganda and surveillance. Read this article
What Is the Metaverse, Exactly?
By Eric Ravenscraft
With metaverse used so broadly and in so many different contexts, it is difficult to fully understand what this platform actually does. The term is intentionally vague because the metaverse is still being built and is too new to define specifically. Currently, it refers not to a particular technology but “a broad (and often speculative) shift in how we interact with technology.” The holographic images shown in ads touting the metaverse depict how entwined technology will be with our lives rather than the specific types of technology to expect. Read this article
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