The LSU Top 5 #39

This is the 39th of our weekly links to the top 5 bits and pieces we’ve found from around the internet.

(Linking doesn’t mean we necessarily agree with these articles!)

Why I’m hiring graduates with thirds this yearThe Spectator

To make an employer look at your CV, get a third-class degree first! Well…maybe only if you’re looking at getting a job with Rory Sutherland, who is encouraging those with lower classed degrees to apply for jobs at his advertising company. His argument is that a graduate’s degree-class doesn’t make much difference to an employees work performance. Since so many other firms compete for students with good degrees, he figures he can have the pick of an equally-good mix if he selects from those with lower classed degrees. The article begins:

Whenever I return to my old university, I am always struck by how incredibly focused, purposeful and studious everyone seems to be. It fills me with despair.

It’s hard to tell the difference between a university and a business school nowadays. Where are all the hippies, the potheads and the commies? And why is everyone so intently serious and sober all the time? ‘Oh, it’s simple,’ a friend explained. ‘If you don’t get a 2:1 or a first nowadays, employers won’t look at your CV.’

So, as a keen game-theorist, I struck on an idea. Recruiting next year’s graduate intake for Ogilvy would be easy. We could simply place ads in student newpapers: ‘Headed for a 2:2 or a third? Finish your joint and come and work for us.’


Are We Smarter Yet? How Colleges are Misusing the Internet3 Quarks Daily

We’ve been promised a lot with the development of the internet, but it seems we’re not really getting much smarter. So why, with so many learning opportunities at our fingertips, are we the same as we ever were? Is it just because we’re lazy?

Lots of people are largely obsessed with chasing pleasure and shirking meaningful work.  They’d rather read about celebrity gossip than learn about mechanical engineering or medicine.  They’d rather indulge a neurosis or compulsion than work towards the common betterment.  And they’d rather watch funny cat videos than try to figure out how those ghastly little beasts can better serve us.  

The author prefers a different explanation:

It’s because simply handing someone a library card, or an internet connection for that matter, and expecting them to just “get smarter,” is a really shitty pedagogy.

The author looks at what’s wrong with online education and argues that we should be careful about making it mainstream.


A University’s Offer of Credit for a MOOC Gets No TakersThe Chronicle

Colorado State University’s Global campus offered credit for a MOOC in Computer Science (at only 86 Dollars!) but no one has taken up the offer in the last year. Turns out the CSU is not the only place where the offer of credit for a MOOC has received little to no interest.

From the article:

Daphne Koller, a co-founder of Coursera, cited the same reason when explaining why that company, which built its reputation on MOOCs, had decided to pursue partnerships with public universities that would integrate its technology into the institutions’ tuition-based curricular offerings.

Open courses, even massive ones, cannot “really move the needle on fundamental educational problems,” said Ms. Koller in an interview with The Chronicle in May.


Leader of the ‘anti-university crusade’Times Higher Education

In this article, Simon Dolan, a successful entrepreneur and high school drop out, argues that university is a big waste of money for most people. Not just about money matter, Donlan emphasises the joy of learning that one might experience at university and “university of life”. He said:

“I’m not against learning and I’m not against education. What I am saying is maybe there’s a better way of doing it.”

University is a perfectly acceptable route for young people to take…but only if they have truly considered all the options, including apprenticeships, starting their own businesses or entering the workplace aged 18.


Universities pilot new approachVietnam News

In response to the fact that university graduates lack job skills, eight Vietnamese public universities have piloted a new model of training called Profession Oriented Higher Education (POHE). In this model, it is expected that students gain more practical skills through attending a career orientation course, taking an internship at partnered enterprises and acquiring intensive language training. High commitment and more involvement from enterprises are required to achieve the program’s goals. However, personal stories from people that we know have raised questions about the extent to which students and educators are prepared to deal with a new paradigm of education.


We love hearing your thoughts on these articles, so feel free to comment below!

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