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Education needs revision

As I contemplate three offers for lecturing in 2018-19, I must confess to a slight air of disillusionment. Some universities are refocussing attention towards PhD and Research led teaching only. The scoring and feedback that I received both from students’ surveys and post-graduation testimonials confirmed the type of educational-DNA we possess, is that which both students want and equally importantly, what employers seek.

Whilst, research is essential, ‘navel gazing’ and focus on that alone is wrong in our experience. The DNA I refer to that I feel to be correct, is that which combines a lecturer with both robust academic qualifications, but also a ‘time served’ practitioner in the ‘university of life’.

The Recomendations that I have received on Linkedin confirm that which I am saying. There are added value, extra curriculum interventions which I have orchestrated that have motivated my students and got them jobs. Some universities market themselves in the way I advocate, but what ‘lies beneath’ isn’t consistent. Some undergraduate and post graduate teaching has staff that have never worked commercially in that sector to which they try to teach the next generation. There are a few universities, quasi-establishments and courses that are starting to appear. Only time will determine if the outcomes are focussed on employability or rather league tables.

In my honest opinion, universities need to refresh themselves and be the first to start revision. It somewhat calls for “Driving with a dashboard” aka Kuper & Szymanski (2012).

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