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Irrelevant funny feedback for a lecturer February 4, 2007

Posted by genchan in Education, General, Singapore, Video, You Tube.
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For those of us who have attended university lectures are required to give our evaluation of the lectures we attend including the competency of the lecturer and his/her teaching style.

For those who have received feedback from students would know how their teaching has or has not benefited the students they taught.

However, not much of us know what the others wrote unless the lecturer him/herself is prepared to share it with the class. So, here is one lecturer (probably of Indian descent) from Singapore’s NTU sharing his evaluation with his students in this interesting video below. You will have a good laugh, so enjoy. I know I did 🙂

The early part of the video is not relevant. Try to start off at 02:00 mins onwards.

Japan’s first online university December 29, 2006

Posted by genchan in East Asia, Education, Japan.
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Come April 1, 2007, Japan will have its first ever government approved online university that will offer all courses over the internet.

A four-year university to be named as “Cyber University” will be based in Fukuoka and operated by Japan Cyber Educational Institute Ltd., a subsidiary of Softbank Corp. As some of you might be aware, Softbank is a corporate giant in IT under its founder Masayoshi Son who recently bought over Vodafone K.K (a telecommunications company), making it one of the 3 mobile phone operators in Japan (NTT Docomo and KDDI are the other two).

There will be two faculties (Faculty of Information Technology and Business and Faculty of World Heritage) with about 100 faculty members. The first enrollment is expected to be around 1,300 where students can access course materials as well as recorded lectures online via their own PCs.  The plus side is that its internet-based courses will allow people young and old to receive higher education without the constraints of location, time, nationality and etc.

However, just like many other newly established institutions (slightly different in this case), the university will have to iron out problems like how to verify student’s identity and ensure that quality education is not compromised in any way. For more info, check out Asahi Shimbun and Softbank’s Press Release.

Higher education in Southeast Asia October 29, 2006

Posted by genchan in Education, Government, Southeast Asia.
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education1.jpg Found an interesting report from UNESCO on the current status of higher education in some of the Southeast Asian countries. According to the report (dated 2006), there are some visible changes on how the countries are adapting to the challenges facing higher education in the region and trends at the global level.

To briefly summarize, some of the more advance countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are becoming exporters of education, helping to expand transnational education across borders. This is partly due to the english language used which makes it easier for foreign students to study but also the fact that overseas providers have been given access to set up branch campuses, giving students from poorer countries opportunity to obtain degrees from well-known institutions at a fraction of the cost. Some of these branch campuses also act as catalysts in raising the standards of local institutions.

In light of global trends in the increase of institutional autonomy, the report noted that there is a gradual move for governments to trade autonomy for more accountability. Some countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are showing more willingness in ceding autonomy which has led to institutional restructuring and changes in university governance. Some has gone as far as delinking academics from civil service.

But as these measures are introduced (bit by bit), rules and regulations will have to be made more rigorous and a corporate culture to be nurtured as universities would be required to compete for funding on their own and maintain competitiveness. The setting up of research universities in Malaysia and specialized research institutes in Singapore are noted in the report as innovative approaches.

The balance between autonomy and accountability, however, continues to be a torny issue for most countries as political involvement is unavoidable. While the report provides an interesting update on the health of higher education in the region, the changing trends mentioned are minor steps as more needs to be done to fully integrate into the global educational system that could be achieved through stronger international cooperative research, increased foreign faculties and students, up-to-date curriculum/courses, reduced bureaucracy and competitive salaries. Interestingly, faculty salaries, which are notably low, has not been mentioned or covered well in the report.