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Showing posts from October, 2006

Why go to university?

Once every term, I meet with two friends from teachers' college. We have coffee and update each other on what we have been up to since our last meeting. Today, we had such a meeting and spent quite some time discussing the purpose of going to university.

I began by contrasting the American and Australian university systems. I am a big fan of the American model of generic bachelor degrees followed by a professional Master's degree. The university of Melbourne is moving towards such a system, and people are now referring to it as "the Melbourne model".

Lara asked Bill and me what we thought the purpose of a university was: to train people for jobs, further people's knowledge in a given field or raise the educational level of the general population. More and more universities in Melbourne are declaring their hand and defining themselves as training centres - even though they do not use that exact phrase.

Bill said that he would return to uni to do something different, …