A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Category archive: Globalisation

Tuesday July 08 2008

The Croydonian links to this, about a grovelling apology made to China by the Vice Chancellor of London Metropolitan University for confering a degree on the Dalai Lama.

Angered and offended by the move, Chinese students and Internet users at home and abroad called for a boycott the university, saying its conferment of honors on the Dalai Lama had hurt the feelings of the Chinese people.

Says the Croydonian:

Sensitive flowers, aren’t they?

My take is that this shows that they don’t really rate this particular university, which they call a London “school”.  If Oxford or Harvard gave a prize to the DL, would the Chinese government make this kind of fuss?

Thursday July 03 2008

Continuing with the first comment on this that I quoted the beginning of below, and continuing with the theme of higher education as a British export industry, the final paragraphs of what “illuminatus” says go like this:

The wider cult of the metric is of great concern to me and is also starting to creep into HE too. Stories published this week about degree inflation and pressure on academics to wave through international students whose grasp of English is so tenuous as to be pretty much non-existent are just small indicators that the era of the comprehensive university is upon us (trust me, I work in one). Ed Balls is not unique, just the latest in a long line of education ministers who has covered their ears and whistled so they can’t hear the concerns of those of us in the education system telling them some rather uncomfortable truths about education policy and its implementation.

In the words of Albert Einstein: not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

He’s talking about these stories.  Further evidence, I suggest, that Terence Kealey is wrong about the alleged continuing excellence of universities, but right that universities should retain their independence, and preferably have it strengthened.  Instead, that is to say, of becoming “comprehensives” living in a state of perpetual political derangement and deterioration.

Thursday June 19 2008

Before going off on holiday last week, on Tuesday 10th of this month, I went to an event at what used to be called the London School of Printing, but which is now called this:

image

Website here.  Click on that photo to see at bit more of what sort of building this is.

This was the end-of-year show of photos put on by Goddaughter 1 and all her mates doing the ABC Diploma in Photography.  It was a crowded show, packed with friends and relatives like me.  All the photos looked great to me.  I couldn’t find a single duff set among them.  They all know how to do photography, I can confidently report.  Which is scary if you want just one of the photographers on show to do really well.

imageimage

What struck me particularly was how many non-Brits were involved in this event, as students and as supporters of the students.  Particularly Asians, and particularly Asian women.  Higher education in Britain is no longer something laid on merely for Brits.  It is a huge British export industry.  Young friends tell me that this is because foreigners have to pay more, so foreigners are preferred.

imageimageimage

That’s Goddaugher 1 and her set of photos, which seemed to be attracting quite a bit of attention, and which I thought were very well displayed.  She showed a couple of good big ones, several smaller ones that you could take out of their racks and scrutinise, and a portfolio containing lots of other equally good photos.  Just like me, Goddaughter 1 likes to photo photographers.  That’s her in the green top, anxiously awaiting the verdict of the European Photo Editor for Time MagazIne.  Or maybe not.  Let’s hope it was someone of significance.

I hope to learn more about this course, but from what little I’ve learned of it so far, it was pretty good.  In particular, it is practical, with classes not just about how to do the work, but about how to get it in the first place.

Thursday December 20 2007

Photographed by my friend Michael Jennings in Malaya:

image

See the comment at Michael’s for further explication.  It was this posting here, and Michael’s comment on it, that got him noticing this.

Here‘s the website, which is where I found the title for this posting.  The little guy with the bow and arrow reminds me somewhat of Marvin the paranoid android in the movie of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  It’s the blankness of his face.  Is this figure intended to suggest that if you go to a university in Australia or the UK, you will become someone? Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Saturday December 15 2007

Indeed:

Australia’s position on Asia’s doorstep, and its ability to offer quality, English-speaking university courses, has made it a major player in the global education market.

It’s an increasingly lucrative business, with Australian universities keen to tap into a buoyant overseas market by exploiting their geographical allure and relatively cheap tuition compared to Britain and the United States.

When I did my previous stint of education blogging, I clocked the global trade in education as a big story, and it can only get bigger.