One Thought To Start Your Day
There’s an interesting experiment developing at Osgoode law school involving the creation of (what is being called) an income-contingent loan system. Dean Lorne Sossin outlines the plan a little bit in his blog, here. There are some fairly big details missing from this description, for the quite good reason that the Dean is leaving a number of design features open, pending discussions with the faculty’s students. But one crucial thing about this program is being obscured by the term “loan”: … [ Read More ]
Last fall, Michelle Bachelet was once again elected as President of Chile, on a considerably more radical platform than that which propelled her to the same position eight years earlier. One of her many campaign promises was to make higher education completely free. This is a Big Deal. It’s not like Germany, where tuition was only ever a derisory sum; in Chile, tuition payments are equal to 2% of GDP, a larger percentage than anywhere else in the world, outside … [ Read More ]
A few years ago, Germany’s Supreme court declared that tuition fees were constitutional, thus paving the way for some states to experiment with fees. Seven of them (containing over half of all students) did so: Baden-Wurttemburg, Bavaria, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Saarland. The fees varied a bit from place to place, but most settled on a modest €500 (Hesse was €1000) – though in some places waiver systems meant that as many as a third of students paid … [ Read More ]
Today, I want to tell you about one of the most amazing stories in recent higher education history. It happened at the University of Melbourne about eight years ago, and it involved having the country’s leading university completely up-end its entire curriculum – every single degree program – in the space of about 24 months. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: the Melbourne Model.
The basic story is this: A decade ago, Melbourne – like all Australian universities – had a … [ Read More ]
Universities and colleges love their strategic plans. Plans beget task lists. Task lists beget work agendas. Work agendas beget Targets. Targets beget Annual Evaluations. And all of it provides a serene sense of control: a belief that we can control the future simply by planning our future work flows.
The thing is, it’s mostly nonsense.
To see why, consider Dwight D. Eisenhower, who famously said “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless. But planning is … [ Read More ]