oa South African Journal of Science - Avarice : signs of threats to credible higher education? - leader

Volume 113 Number 11-12
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



Indications of the extent to which higher education is becoming ‘commercialised’ – driven in a variety of ways by avarice and mostly impelled by external interests (including ranking systems which are not discussed here) – are all around us.

At an individual level, it is evidenced by academics who are committed more to their own interests than those normally associated with scientific practice and the importance of the public good. This avarice takes two forms. Firstly, for individuals, it is the substitution of scientific integrity with personal promotion and subsidy income – evidenced by increases in plagiarism, the publication of research articles in predatory journals (at great expense and without scientific substance or credibility), and the delivery of papers at predatory conferences. Secondly, this individual level of operation serves to fuel the profits of predatory journals and the organisers of predatory conferences.

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