College As Values Transfer Device

Tim Lee defends academia:

My own tentative theory is that the primary function of an undergraduate education is to allow the student to join a scholarly community, and in the process to soak up the values and attitudes of that community. There are a variety of character traitsintellectual curiosity, critical thinking, self-direction, creativitythat are best learned by being immersed in a community where those traits are cultivated and rewarded. They’re not on the formal curriculum, but they’re implicit in much of what happens on a college campus.