Time to reinvent university education?

Apparently people in the US are noticing that their universities arent much good either.  Via Trevix Wax I found this article:

Shocker. An increasing number of intellectuals and major publications are questioning the value of America’s colleges. Recently Newsweek ran a cover story suggesting that college is a lousy investment, something not worth nearly the dollars or the time that is invested. In response to these sorts of criticisms and questions, the most recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct 19, 2012) includes an article entitled, “College, Reinvented.” This article contains 15 suggestions, by 15 educators, on how we  might improve the system.

It also mentions the standard excuse:

Anybody familiar with higher education knows that faculty members often are expected to excel both in classroom instruction and research/writing. In this article, Robin Wilson argues that colleges should allow faculty members to choose one or the other of these two skills.

Won’t work.  And in UK universities, faculty members are not even expected to excel in instruction, so much as to do some now and then, quality immaterial.

There’s got to be changes, I think.  The current situation isn’t working.  It’s a bit like a “you can’t get there from here” situation: how on earth do we actually get some decent education done in our universities?  At the moment the whole system is loaded to ensure that most students do not get value for money/time spent there.  In the humanities it also causes huge quantities of junk “research” to be produced, for career purposes, much of it of little permanent value.

I don’t know the answers, but it is good to see that our rotten university systems are being examined.

2 thoughts on “Time to reinvent university education?

  1. Thanks for sharing this Roger. This has been on my heart for a while. I think that one issue is the question of how ethical is it for colleges to train more people for a particular job market than jobs in that market exist. Colleges should not be producing more graduates in a particular field than are needed to meet the demand. This only leads to somebody working four (or more) years with the expectation that they will spend the rest of their lives doing something that they find upon graduating that they cannot do.

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