Dries is the founder and project lead of Drupal and co-founder of Acquia and Mollom.
What is all that noise outside?
First of all, let me say that I'm apolitical, and that I've no desire taking part or influencing any political decision making. Hence I did not march along yesterday. Nonetheless, I do have an opinion about the matter. The reason for the protest was twofold. First of all, Ghent University protested against the consequential undersubsidising of the institution, with respect to other Flemish universities. Second, there is the way in which funding will be granted in the future.
While reason 1 may be true, there is little we can do about it now, as the governement has no extra money to spend.
But reason 2 holds IMO. The proposal has been to determine funding based on the output of the university in graduating students. Which is rubbish, because that way, we can maximise output by simple letting all students pass. Saying that the quality of the education should be maintained, and in fact taken to an even higher level at the same time as maximising output in graduates is utter idiocy. It won't work. you need to deal with the students as they are, some are bright, some are less bright. You can change the way you teach or spend extra resources in the way of teaching assistant, extra lessons, extra tasks, more interactive classes, etc. The downside there is that you have less time to spend on research, and paper output is deemed very important also. Especially if you wish to attract bright students, bright postdocs and maintain the level of your professor staff. As such, I find the arguments brought on by the goverment to be void. A way to validate the output of the students would be to have them participate in a national examination, but which student would willinglly undergo the stress after graduating if there's no bonus in it for him or her? You could refuse their diploma if they do not particiapte, but on what grounds? After all, they succeeded in passing the examinations required by their field of study ...
Ah, the way of politicians is shrouded in mystery ...
Mooie foto's, zeer schoon gedaan!! Zelf getrokken? Bewerkt achteraf?
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