So the last time we tuned into antics in Canberra, the government was trying to pass a fairly ambitious piece of legislation that would completely de-regulate tuition fees while (more or less) maintaining the HECS system, which means post-graduate contributions are always tied to income, and thus do not become too onerous. The government was also going to cut institutional grants by about 20%, but keep the “demand-driven” system in which government dollars follow students no matter how many students attend.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, King of Saudi Arabia for the past ten years (after effectively being regent for the ten years before that, due to his brother King Fahd’s incapacitation from stroke), died last week. There can have been very few individuals who have had a greater effect on their country’s system of higher education.
Perhaps his best-known initiative was the creation of his eponymous institution, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Opened in 2009 near Jeddah, … [ Read More ]
Historically, the development of student movements has been heavily linked with nationalism, anti-colonialism, modernity, and the development of the welfare state (i.e. they were pro all four of those). However, as higher education has become massified around the world, students have by and large become less concerned with larger social issues, and more concerned with narrower, student-based concerns. That hasn’t always led to a loss of radicalism (viz. the carré rouge), but it’s broadly true that over time student leadership … [ Read More ]
I was going to start on a series about growth in non-academic staff numbers today, but the news out of Washington late last week was too spectacular, so I’m bumping it. Did Obama really say he wanted to make community college free?
Well, yes he did. But he might not have meant it the way we all heard it. And whatever happens, it’s unlikely to occur any time soon.
Let’s start with what he actually said (White House fact sheet, … [ Read More ]
One of the things that clouds mutual understanding of higher education systems across the Atlantic is the nature of the Arts curriculum. And in particular, the degree to which they actually have them in Europe, and don’t over here.
When students enroll in a higher education program in Europe, they have a pretty good idea of the classes they’ll be taking for the next three years. Electives are rare; when you enter a program, the required classes are in large part already … [ Read More ]