Hello, and thanks for bringing back this wonderful topic
On Monday, I start the last semester of my bachelor degree, and having been at university for two and a half years, I can say that it does more harm than good to the students who choose to pursue a major there.
There are a number of reasons I could highlight to explain my above statement, however I will focus mainly on how university works, at least here in Albania as a way of explaining the deficiencies of higher education.
The student, after graduating from high school, is offered the opportunity to apply for a discipline or major at university, based on his subject focus and GPA. If he is successful, the student goes on for three years with his bachelor degree, which is composed of subjects that make up the discipline he/she has chosen to study. The programs are well arranged; however, the amount of information you get per subject is by and large beyond your capacity, or, considering the time at your disposal, it can't be accomplished by any means. It's not simply about working hard or working wisely (these phrases often drive me up the wall); it is about processing, memorising, analysing and reproducing the information you have at hand. When you can smoothly manage to reproduce the information on a particular subject, only then should you be tested on that subject, but nowhere does that happen. Another point closely rlated is that the student does not have enough time to practice what has he learnt in theory. A student may read 30-40 pages of a lecture, and is given only two classes to bring out the knowledge he has gained. Only through two classes per week, (which we call seminars) can the professor assess the progress of his student. Of course, this is not true for all subjects, as some need more involvement by the side of students; however, the average is two classes. To ease the process of studying, professors frequently tell their students that they should focus primarily on the most important arguments, but how on the earth can they make a logical connection between arguments by reading only the main points? This is more like making him a computer-based mind rather than a logical mind that knows what it says and what it does. That is the tendency at university. I know that professors own and can use that knowledge, and I believe that most of that they have gained by reading, rereading, reading and then rereading again books after all the levels of studies they have completed. They certainly, and we too want to get the best out of university in terms of learning, nonetheless, I can't get how the student is supposed to succeed under such intensely tough pressure in such little time. This is the reason why I am more in favour of non-standard education, but sadly non-standard education is not recognised by public or private institutions. I'm completely disappointed by the university experience so far.
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