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Passing failed students at UC?

By johnboy - 16 April 2012 55

The Australian is running more leaks out of the University of Canberra journalism school, this time a tutor Lynne Minion expressing her displeasure at being asked to pass Chinese exchange students:

Crispin Hull, a former Canberra Times editor, and course convenor, advised a UC tutor to pass two students in their journalism assignments, despite her objections.

Hull wrote in an email that he took a “pragmatic view” about the poor English of overseas students, explaining it was a case of “grinning and bearing” it.

“They will return to China and never practise journalism in Australia,” he wrote.

“If these assignments had been produced by a native English speaker who might be let loose with a UC degree on the Australian journalism scene, I would fail them. But that this (sic) not the case.

“I think it best to give them a flat pass without breaking it up. Tell them their English expression needs a lot of further work. It is a question of grinning and bearing it.”

[If the Oz’s paywall is giving you trouble try clicking from google.

What’s Your opinion?


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55 Responses to
Passing failed students at UC?
16
Mr Waffle 1:59 pm
16 Apr 12
#

devils_advocate said :

If you want a uni degree that means something, don’t go to UC.
Kthnxbai.

Wasn’t it announced the other day in the news that UC has one of the best employment-after-graduation rates in the country? Seems to mean something, then…

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17
devils_advocate 2:09 pm
16 Apr 12
#

Mr Waffle said :

devils_advocate said :

If you want a uni degree that means something, don’t go to UC.
Kthnxbai.

Wasn’t it announced the other day in the news that UC has one of the best employment-after-graduation rates in the country? Seems to mean something, then…

Not really. Eg you could do a economics degree at UC and end up working at maccas. More qualitative/distributional info would be required before drawing any conclusions on the basis of that statistic alone.

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18
devils_advocate 2:15 pm
16 Apr 12
#

astrojax said :

correct me if i’m wrong, but this a journalism skills, not an english language course..?

Well there is a certain amount of english language skill that is required in order to do good journalism. Given the level of crap that gets printed/published to the interwebs though who knows how bad stuff has to be before it will be judged worthy of a fail.

Hard to tell without seeing the examples which are at the margins.

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19
c_c 2:24 pm
16 Apr 12
#

Mr Waffle said :

devils_advocate said :

If you want a uni degree that means something, don’t go to UC.
Kthnxbai.

Wasn’t it announced the other day in the news that UC has one of the best employment-after-graduation rates in the country? Seems to mean something, then…

Not really, it goes back to what I said in a previous post last week that UC and those who employ US graduates are more focused on practical rather than theoretical, doers vs thinkers.

It’s true that UC has a marginally higher graduate employment rate, 80% to 78%.

However another statistic shows a striking difference between the two.
The percentage of graduates who continue full time study at ANU is almost 30%. At UC, barely over 17%.

It’s safe to assume the ANU, given it’s traditional focus on postgraduate and research programs, attracts a higher number of students who may not wish to jump straight into the work force after undergrad is complete.

Something else that doesn’t lie and again supports what I said is the staffing profiles of the two institutions.

At ANU, over 82% of staff have doctorate level qualifications. That drops to 61% at UC.

Even more stark is the employment types: at ANU, 83% of staff are full-time (with under 9% part time and casual each). At UC, a whopping 24% of staff are casual, with only 65% full time.

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20
dpm 2:55 pm
16 Apr 12
#

c_c said :


Even more stark is the employment types: at ANU, 83% of staff are full-time (with under 9% part time and casual each). At UC, a whopping 24% of staff are casual, with only 65% full time.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons ANU are struggling budget-wise and doing a slash and burn?

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21
devils_advocate 2:57 pm
16 Apr 12
#

c_c said :

Even more stark is the employment types: at ANU, 83% of staff are full-time (with under 9% part time and casual each). At UC, a whopping 24% of staff are casual, with only 65% full time.

That can actually be a good thing for vocational/trade based qualifications, such as law, which need a strong practical focus to succeed in things like litigation and advisory roles (but less so in academic roles).
The casual employees tend to be solicitors who are picking up some tutes as opposed to academics who are convening, which is one model that UC employs which I think works quite well.

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22
EvanJames 3:03 pm
16 Apr 12
#

Mr Waffle said :

devils_advocate said :

If you want a uni degree that means something, don’t go to UC.
Kthnxbai.

Wasn’t it announced the other day in the news that UC has one of the best employment-after-graduation rates in the country? Seems to mean something, then…

Yes, because UCan is the university equivalent of TAFE, they train people to do jobs. Universities are meant to be a whole lot more than that.

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23
astrojax 3:19 pm
16 Apr 12
#

devils_advocate said :

Well there is a certain amount of english language skill that is required in order to do good journalism.

well, if they practice journalism in an english language-speaking society… as was my point.

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24
c_c 3:29 pm
16 Apr 12
#

devils_advocate said :

…vocational/trade based qualifications, such as law…

You’d better be joking.

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25
HenryBG 3:40 pm
16 Apr 12
#

c_c said :

It’s safe to assume the ANU, given it’s traditional focus on postgraduate and research programs, …

But they still haven’t completed any research into apostrophe illiteracy among graduates.

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26
p1 4:15 pm
16 Apr 12
#

c_c said :

devils_advocate said :

…vocational/trade based qualifications, such as law…

You’d better be joking.

The vast majority of lawyers are doing housing sales, appearing for DUIs and the like. Only a very small percentage are exploring the finer points of constitutional law in the high court. Think of it like most of them are electricians, only a few are working in high energy particle physics.

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27
astrojax 4:24 pm
16 Apr 12
#

HenryBG said :

c_c said :

It’s safe to assume the ANU, given it’s traditional focus on postgraduate and research programs, …

But they still haven’t completed any research into apostrophe illiteracy among graduates.

sssh, they are – you may have just contaminated a sample… :)

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28
Ko. 4:24 pm
16 Apr 12
#

Law is a vocational course.
Engineering is a vocational course.
Architecture is a vocational course.
Medicine is a vocational course.

The only thing that isn’t really a vocational course is Fine Arts because it never leads to a job.

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29
HenryBG 5:21 pm
16 Apr 12
#

Ko. said :

Law is a vocational course.
Engineering is a vocational course.
Architecture is a vocational course.
Medicine is a vocational course.

The only thing that isn’t really a vocational course is Fine Arts because it never leads to a job.

Er, and the main thing Universities do that is of worth: Science.

I’m not surprised you didn’t think of science, after all, Universities have been hacking back on Science in order to fit in as many illiterate foreign students they can dishonestly pass in meaningless courses as they can.

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30
noma 5:23 pm
16 Apr 12
#

It is a standard practice to mark international students’ papers more leniently in the areas such as language coherence and fluency.
People travel to Australia to study because the universities have a good reputation, and it helps significantly with job prospects.
Unfortunately, for those who began learning a new language in a new country it is a very difficult and tedious task which involves constantly learning new vocabulary, grammatical structure and fluency of expression.
from my personal experience, I have tried learning a new language before travelling overseas and know how difficult it can be, so I am sympathetic towards the international students who would have the same language barriers when it comes to learning English. It’s definitely not something that can be learnt overnight. But takes years of practice, persistence and resilience

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