Sunday, October 05, 2008

Belated posts II.: The course of matters

Written, as it appears, on Friday, October 2.

Yesterday the Medieval courses started. I expected one guy who would give us some syllabus and literature for the course and start lecturing but there were all four of the Medieval professors and we were given general instructions.

So, the thing is that without actually knowing, I landed in the middle of a school reform. There's a new new system of study (the new one was when there were credits instituted), things seem to be a bit upside down and nobody knows for sure how some of the details will work.

There's also some pressure from the government which wants basically to privatize the universities. (technically the universities would be private foundations, didn't get whether non-profit ones, though) Not that I'd understand the details but apparently the academic crowd doesn't agree. Even now, the budgets are being reduced, the schools are pressed to have more students per teacher (nice. Now the people sit on the floors in the lecture rooms because there aren't enough chairs. What's the next step, cancelling lectures and making people read stuff on the internet) and less teachers in total numbers (ditto), less scholarships etc.

Not that I was an expert on Italian school system, economy and the general social climate but from what I know, the privatization thingy isn't a good idea. Back home, the demand for higher education is high and everybody wants to be a manager or artist or IT guy or something similarly sexy... or at least they want to have a diploma so that they can do a nice office job. Since the state schools accept only a limited number of students, many private institutions sprang up. One of very many offers postgradual studies, most stick to the bachelor degrees and the Pay and Graduate routine. Although legally, degrees are equal regardless of the university where one got them, it's a common knowledge that the state ones provide better education although the people may lack a few points in self-presentation compared to the proud alumni of some Anglo-American Academy of Information Technologies (the crappier the school, the more noble the name sounds, I'm urged to say although its my feeling, not a scientific observation).

I seem to know where the things are going and I'll observe it all with great attention.