Universities Being Useful

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  • It is time for a consolidation of the large number of universities with each university left open specializing in varied curriculums. We continue to churn out far too many students with BAs that cannot find a reasonable paying job, but this is the one course that generates the most funds for the universities. My so graduated from SMU two years ago and I attended the ceremony. Nova Scotians were the only ones to graduate with BAs while hundreds of foreign students graduated with degrees in Commerce and Business Administration. The universities are top heavy with administration which must be streamlined to save costs and reduce student admission costs, which could result in less government funding. But the bottom line is universities must produce people who can step into the workforce and be productive, therefore a major change to the direction of the universities is badly needed.

    Richard Randall | April 1, 2014 | Reply

  • If universities in Nova Scotia or indeed possibly all across Canada want to help out their students and the economies of the regions in which they are located,the first thing they could do is align their school calendars with the seasonal nature of the Nova Scotian economy. Presently students finish their academic year in the middle of April and return the day after Labour Day. In September, the economy in Nova Scotia booms particularly in tourism,agriculture and construction..yet students have gone back to the classroom..only to be let out in April when they hunt desperately for summer employment which largely does not yet exist .The university calendar should be shifted so that students are not finished until the Victoria Day weekend and start after Thanksgiving..This would work much better for summer employers and university students…besides .. which month would you rather be indoors in Nova Scotia…April or September. As well, one of the very few summer long weekends is now spent by many families moving students into their respective university accommodations.When I broached this concept to several university officials a number of years ago.. the only drawback mentioned was that it would disrupt the varsity football season.

    Allan Rodger | November 18, 2013 | Reply

  • “Bill I have to let you know that you “missed the mark” with your weekend article on universities. I have a “Liberal Arts” degree in English and History plus a Bachelor of Education…. potentially worthless in your opinion.

    My working career in all four modes of transportation, including several decades in management, were strengthened by my ability to analyze legal documents and portfolios with a critical eye for language. My studies, which also included other languages, “paid off” in helping me understand other peoples and cultures.

    I often hear today’s university students being asked, ‘What are you going to do with that degree?” My answer is always, “A lot more than they could do without it.’

    “David thanks for your comment. I did not say in that article or any previous ones that those degrees are worthless. What I have said is:

    1. Students taking a B. Ed should realize that their chances of getting teaching jobs in NS are very slim unless they are qualified to teach French Immersion, or High School Math or Science.

    2. That some research activity by professors is more valuable than others, and that the province should create a slight funding tilt in favor of the former. I do not advocate ending foreign language training. But a professor of, say Italian, is less likely to produce research of value to the province than an ocean scientist looking for ways to make aquaculture safer and more productive. So we should be a bit less supportive of research by that professor. We should be equally supportive of his/her teaching.

    Did I miss your point?

    “You seem to “missed” part of my concern.

    1. Taking a B.Ed program does not necessarily mean someone wants to be a slotted into being a teacher in a classroom. In my particular case, it was an opportunity to evaluate my future and explore a potential avenue. Later in my business life, I did some training and managed a corporate training facility where portions of my B.A. and B.Ed. education were useful. I’m sure your son recognized the value of lessons learned and applies them.

    2. A language professor may also provide social insight that will attract foreign interest and investment due to an exchange of ideas between cultures. The value of a particular type of research is a very subjective thing.

    Thank you for your reply. I always enjoy reading viewpoints that differ from mine. I may not agree with them but it broadens my perspective.

    David Hunter | November 18, 2013 | Reply