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Fountain Abani

President, Student Representative Council of UOWD, University of Wollongong in Dubai

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Universities that pride themselves on developing future global leaders are actually failing in this regard. Do you agree or disagree?

It seems like the curriculum that various higher colleges of learning are using to prepare future leaders lack the relevant framework and competences to develop global leaders in the face of globalization.

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  • Apr 25 2013: Yes, most assuredly. Why is it that the system that is meant to educate and better people is making them compete for the education and betterment that is claimed to be offered? A student fresh out of high school should not have to compete tooth and nail for a better future by education, since by very virtue without the student, there would be no education in the first place. Universities should be explaining to students why they should choose that particular establishment. Students should be allowed to ask the questions of "Why Is your program the best to choose?" or "Why should I choose your University?". Instead the Universities are set up to make it nearly impossible to express any kind of opinion to that extent, and are designed to destroy that kind of thinking, the kind of thinking we as a race, Humans, need desperately. More Importantly The Universities are a template for how society in 1st world countries is set up. A person is thrown into the society and absolutely drained of all individuality and thought. The issue with education ultimately is the issue that is the most pressing to solve, for it sets the pace and tone of society. If a society with an educational system designed to crush free thought and creativity is allowed to continue on its course of degradation, we can kiss the future good by and say hello to caves and forests once more, for it will be much the same. We are only as good as the system we use to educate ourselves, and the current one denies any room for outside of the box thinking and is solely designed for failure. No two people learn in the same way, and so a system that teaches only but one way, and a highly wasteful and ineffective way at that, will doom the future generations to a level of retardation that will ultimately be the responsibility of those who saw the problems and reused to act. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want the history books of the future to say in colorful pictures that it was our fault.
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      Apr 25 2013: As you made application to universities, are you saying it was hard to learn why a student would choose that particular school? When my two older children applied to college (not that long ago) and when I did, universities put a lot of energy into conveying what they felt was special about that institution and did so both on their websites and on campus for students who visited to inspect them. Many colleges have visit weekends or days in which one can meet with or stay with current students and many make it possible to attend classes.

      Or is your complaint not that universities do not convey this but rather that few universities have the capacity to admit anyone who might like to go there?

      I understand the frequent complaint that high school does not allow outside-the-box thinking and stifles creativity and individuality, but I think this must be highly variable. Even from public schools, I know so many twenty-somethings, including kids of my own, who exercised their individuality and ingenuity well in the course of their schooling through the way they approached the subjects they studied, the topics they picked for projects, and so forth. And most I know went to ordinary public schools.

      Schooling obviously has great room for improvement, but it is also true that you have some control over how you approach the experiences in your life to consider them as resources as you continue to shape who you are.
      • Apr 27 2013: I have found myself faced with two options: either life with knowledge, or life with knowledge and a price tag on the rest of my life. I realize Professors have to survive and facilities maintained, but at the same time why should I attend a University with a price tag which, in a best case, would be a good chunk of the mortgage of my father's house. The same courses available at my local community college is exponentially less expensive. The difference being the name on the piece or pieces of paper. Why? Especially in this economy. I find it morally repugnant. Yet those with a large wallet surpass those working 30 hours a week "Part Time" to pay for community college and such essentials as food and transportation.

        I thoroughly believe that Universities have the capacity to admit large quantities of students, what I am skeptical of is their capacity to see past a bank statement.

        As for high schools, I have attended high school in two totally different states, Orting WA, and Mt Pleasant SC. The experiences were both the same. Haggard and tired teachers, who didn't get paid enough to do all of the things that were required of them, yet they trudged in every morning just like all the students, and they began teaching the curriculum that they themselves often questioned, and the mind numbing monotony was an ever present. I found that there was nothing more than power power points that couldn't show or talk of certain things depending on the state. I found that the idea of a system where you sit 30+ kids in a room for 90 minutes, ring a bell to tell them to go to another room for another sitting of 90 minutes, and so on and so forth almost like zombies. But that must not be correct for zombies cannot exist right? yet the average high school student is almost as mindless as a zombie for 8+ hours a day 5 days a week.

        I was once sent to In School Suspension because I refused to let the teacher confiscate my personal reading book, when I had finished my work.
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          Apr 27 2013: I applaud your choosing a path that works for you and am sorry your high school experience was so dismal.

          My daughters had 55 minute classes rather than 90 minutes. My son has long classes only on the "block" days. You are right that public school teachers are often very over-worked and trying to keep up with all they have to do. Your observation is also correct that teachers dislike and are often demoralized by having to teach off a script. I am grateful I never had to.

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