Pedagogy For Sale: How Neoliberalism Reduces Student Freedom

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date



College of Arts and Sciences



Faculty Sponsor

Arthur Scarritt


Neoliberal doctrine promotes the idea of increasing individual freedoms. However, qualitative interviews at Boise State University have shown that the neoliberalization of higher education has done the opposite. This neoliberal financialization of higher education has increased tuition cost and student debt to monumental proportions. I argue the trepidation from the cost of a neoliberlized college education, and the myopia of buying into elite status, causes a controlled restriction of student autonomy. This pernicious profiteering of neoliberalism in higher education has now become a form of social control in the way it directly restricts student's academic choices inherent to the fear of higher cost. Also, in the way it indirectly controls the way students themselves uncritically internalize and justify its negative effects. I found that Boise State University students speciously conflate educational value with extrinsic rewards which causes them to devalue the self-determination of their education

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