As I blogged about not too long ago, public universities around the world are facing serious pressures due to the financial crisis. Perhaps the moment is ripe for reform—when the fiscal situation gets tough, it can help make possible what only recently seemed unimaginable.
Roger Goodman of Moody's credit rating agency has a prediction:
With policies of limiting enrollment places and tuition fees, market pressure to add capacity, and government funding unlikely to increase, Moody’s expects unprecedented pressure on the current financial model of public universities.
A recent article by Timothy Ogden (Computer Error?) provides a pretty clear answer: forget the glitzy computers, and put your scarce resources into the provision of deworming pills. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) program provides computers at around $200 a pop, while deworming pills cost between 50 cents and 4 dollars per student per year. All the control trials of computers in classrooms have given—at best—ambiguous results.
Yesterday Dave Snowden published on his blog what is currently just an intriguing snippet - the idea of a Grameen group for learning (look forward to him expanding on the concept):
The basic idea is that you get your bursary as a progressive series of payments only if you form a learning group with other people in your community and you all take responsibility for each other group members completion of whatever education programme you take.
Paris in July will always serve as an excellent motivator for participants to attend a World Conference.
Editor's Note: Jennifer Yip is a consultant for the World Bank Group's Doing Business team.
At an age when mothers admonish their children to finish their brussels sprouts, my mother issued warnings about the importance of getting a PhD if I wanted to gain the respect of my future husband. Those warnings were followed by the oft-repeated reminder that I should "marry well, so you don’t have to work if you don’t want to."
Greater financial autonomy for Indian universities? I can almost hear an audible gasp. Nevertheless, that's what Santosh Mehrotra, a senior adviser of India's Planning Commission, has recommended in a recent article in International Higher Education:
Michael Trucano of the World Bank's EduTech blog has posted a valuable round-up of various evaluations of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) pilots around the world. Michael warns that many of the evaluations are of short-term and small-scale pilots, which limits our ability to extrapolate.
China could very possibly be setting a record this year with the largest number of unemployed recent college graduates in the history of the world.