Students lack focus, not the universitiesFriday, August 20, 2021
The University of the West Indies; University of Technology, Jamaica; Northern Caribbean University; and other universities are very focused on helping students to do well in their academic fields by creating an environment that will attract more students to enrol. However, a few things are lacking, even with their focus on better marketing in order to increase their sagging profits margins.
For me, as a long-time graduate, most of my concerns centre on the disconnect between the universities and the working world. But those are minor and are easily solved. Once you make a website to promote yourself, your skills and abilities in a positive light online, work and employment will soon follow — no connections to anyone in the working world or links required. Trust me!
First, let's get one thing straight. Lecturers are not supposed to spoon-feed you; you are reading for a degree and, as such, most of what you will learn will partly be from the lecturers' instructions and notes, and partly via research on your own using the Internet, as well as other resources, be they literature or real-world experiences.
The lecturers understand that students do not all grasp concepts at the same pace. What they have little patience for is whining students who believe that we must explain to them concepts that they can research for themselves and/or have already learnt at the high school level, presumably, while studying for Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and A-Level papers.
Lecturers do not feel that type of energy emanating from the students, making many of us wonder if students realise that they are no longer in high school and are becoming adults who must research things and think on their own.
Students must work hard, perform well, and accomplish their goals. Never mind the increasing tuition, that is an inescapable facet of our current reality, as the cost of most things will always be moving upwards due to the economic conditions we are currently operating within vis-à-vis the novel coronavirus pandemic.
These aforementioned universities are not places where only the richest will survive, but rather places where those who are able to rapidly adapt to different circumstances will do well.
The quality of university education is excellent; it is the student who must adapt and shift away from expecting a university to be a bed and breakfast for the mind and instead realise that they are building themselves via active research, and not the regurgitating of notes, as they had done in high school.
Thus, when students want to have excitement in the classroom, as if they are toddlers, they do not realise that they have learning upside-down. YouTube lessons and social media platforms, albeit more favourable for learning, still require instructors who possesses a PhD or master's degree in their area of expertise.
In that sense, all university students' success must be fully credited to the university or lecturers indirectly. Were it not for those who did not fall asleep during lectures and “boring” PowerPoint presentations and, instead, did their research, practised tutorial questions, read the required textbooks, and learnt, understood, and applied the principles of research and then years later spun around and made all that knowledge into YouTube videos, those YouTube lessons, and social media platforms used for self-studying via the Internet would not even exist.
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, simple as that!
L H Deer
Tivoli Gardens High