One of the great quests in higher education over the past two decades has been to make the sector more “transparent”. Higher education is a classic example of a “low-information” economy. Like medicine, consumers have very limited information about the quality of higher education providers, and so “poor performers” cannot easily be identified. If only there were some way to actually provide individuals with better information, higher education would come closer to the ideal of “perfect information” (a key part … [ Read More ]
About four months ago, UBC President Stephen Toope wrote a widely-praised piece called “Universities in an Era of Non-Lieux“. Basically, the piece laments the growing trend toward the deracinated homogenization of universities around the globe. He names global rankings and government micro-management of research and enrolment strategies – usually of a fairly faddish variety, as evidenced by the recent MOOC-mania – as the main culprits.
I’m not going to take issue with Toope’s central thesis: I agree with him 100% that … [ Read More ]
A nice simple post today: why universities are going bananas for international students.
The first figure shows undergraduate tuition fees for international students in each province. They range from a little under $10,000 in Newfoundland, to just over $25,000 in PEI. The national average for this period is $18,840; in Ontario it is $23,000.
International Undergraduate Tuition Fees by Province, 2012, in $2013
What’s more, fees for … [ Read More ]
So, there’s this cute little graphic making the rounds on the internet. Take a look, and tell me what you see:
If you laughed, I’m disappointed. This joke, to me, represents absolutely everything wrong with the humanities these days.
The joke, essentially, is that scientists are narrow-minded eggheads. They have knowledge, but not wisdom. But your lovable humanities types? Well, they may … [ Read More ]
In all the hype and backlash about MOOCs, it seems that we forgot to have a really important conversation about what MOOCs actually tell us about traditional higher education.
The thing that freaked absolutely everybody out (some positively, some negatively) about MOOCs was the idea that a single instructor could teach tens of thousands of students around the world, simultaneously. “Oh my God”, people panicked/enthused, “what will happen to the university once content is available freely everywhere”. Well, not much, … [ Read More ]