Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Higher Education Whisperer in Times Higher Education Blog

A couple of weeks ago, Sara Custer, Digital editor of Times Higher Education asked if I would write some comment pieces for their blog, or re-posts from my blog. She suggested my posts on the Ramsey Center for Western Civilization, digital technology for partition rooms, or dispersal of international students across Australia as candidates. I nominated my Ramsey Center post. Today I realized I heard nothing more, so went to look at the THE Blog, where I found: "Can a degree in Western civilisation prepare students for 21st century jobs?", January 16, 2019.

The post elicited some comments (I am surprised there were not more). One comment suggested that India was ruled by classically-trained Oxford graduates. Leaving aside the question as to if they governed well, not all rulers of India were classically educated in Oxford. The last Viceroy of India, Louis Mountbatten, attended naval college, was a Senior Wireless Instructor at the Naval Signals School, and a member of Institution of Electrical Engineers. He did also study English literature at Christ's College Cambridge, but only for two terms. Not all India's colonial rulers had this level of technical training, but they were backed by people who did, and could use advanced technology to suppress rebellion.

A second comment suggested that a degree should teach  how to learn and think critically. I agree, but that does not preclude also teaching skills, and knowledge useful in a specific vocation. Many people have had successful careers outside the area they were trained in, but I would prefer they were trained for some sort of career, rather than none at all.

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