Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finally a voice of reason on tuition increases

U of R Raises Tuition 5% | News Talk 650 CKOM

Reading the linked story, there is one thing that I noted:

"It's a financial burden," agrees Engineering student Mitch Stillborn. He feels the school puts a priority on hiring people that excel in research work, regardless of whether or not their ability to impart their knowledge on students. "They don't have instruction in instruction. Maybe if they started to get that I'd be all for it. To teach in high school you have to have a teaching degree. You come to university and it's supposed to be a higher quality of educational experience and the people teachign are no longer to have that degree. You're no longer being taught by the coaches, you're being taught by the athletes and that's caused us some problems."

"The facilities and stuff are fine," says Derrick Mohr. "I don't mind paying the extra 5% as long as I'm getting something for it."

This time, for this tuition increase, they didn't just take the normal statement from some random Arts student who got the smallest percentage increase on the lowest tuition but is still mad as hell because they know bloody well that their degree will be useless when they are done school.

No, this time, they actually spoke to someone who will have a good, high paying job when he/she gets out of university and gets some experience. They spoke to someone who will graduate with a practical degree, and (surprise surprise) the person focused more on the quality of the education, and not the cost of it.

That's right. A student said that he doesn't mind paying the extra cost as long as he is actually being taught properly.

It's a statement that many universities should take note of and a statement that many profs should also pay attention to. The theory behind the current university system is that it is prestigious to take a class from a professor who has brilliantly made strides in their field of study. But what happens when all the prof has done is written a textbook regurgitating the same information from other textbooks? Does it really demand a premium? Just because they wrote a textbook, does that mean that they are necessarily good at teaching the material?

I'll be frank, there is an idea whose time is coming. The health care field got hit with "Patient First" focus, and this government won't stop until that initiative has been put into place. Post-Secondary schools will soon get hit with "Student First" focus, and I have to say that the idea can't come soon enough. Schools need to recognize that students can go anywhere - they CHOOSE the school they go to, and the sooner everybody understands that the better off they are.

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