Thursday, November 5, 2009

World-Class University

November 6
Today is my last official day at Putra Malaysia University meeting with administration, faculty and staff. I will be providing a speech on their concerns for becoming a world-class university. This request has been a surprise to me, because I know that this concern is one that all higher education institutions and particularly university administration and faculty discuss. As I develop this presentation, I found my own mixed beliefs part of this discourse. For me, higher education should be about lifelong learning - a commitment to support learning across the lifespan. However, the rankings and ratings for national and international reputation are becoming more based upon scientific discoveries and high volume citations- more often based in the sciences. Providing access to adults, providing professional continuing education, and providing life-wide lifelong learning are not part of this discourse and agenda. Traditional liberal education efforts are now marginalized, many professional schools – such as education and business – are becoming marginalized, and even undergraduate education is being considered a suspect in holding back world-class rankings. It is a curious and strange time for universities across the world. Where are the voices of alternative understandings? Clearly this university and NC State do care about being a quality institution. Where are the alternative valued perspectives?

1 comment:

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