Today there are far more students -- probably close to ten times more -- in university than there were forty or fifty years ago, and they come from a much wider socioeconomic background. There are far more PhDs teaching in those universities. The demands on those teachers, in terms of research and publishing, are far greater. There is far more contact with the outside world, far more publishing in indexed journals, and far more original research being carried out.
What has been lost, by design, is the conviction that education is a right and that this right should be guaranteed by the state -- in other words, that there should be a public education system. The student movement is about that, but it often gets mixed up with this misplaced nostalgia, especially when the teachers' union gets involved. It would be useful if they did not mix the two sentiments.