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Put the cart before the horse, and shut the stable door when the steed is stolen…

We are realising educational innovation of a number of courses. The lecturers involved have gone through a paradigm shift, are extremely motivated to make a qualitative good course and to engage the students into challenging learning activities. Students are viewed as essentially motived, yet we need to press the right buttons to get the students into motion.  We (educational innovators) are on the right track…

And then the news hits.  Financial cutbacks on education need to be realized within the coming semester.  and the Innovation?

  • Well we would like to, but we have to cut budgets so. ..?
  • So we will only realise the changes that cut costs

Indeed, implementing change will initially take time from the lecturer and it does generate development costs.  Consequently, it is more attractive not to change, do a few cutbacks on staff and activities. Done, innovation realised.

A short-term pragmatic view. One that is fully understandable from the perspective of the lecturer, as we are asking rather a lot from the lecturer.

He/she is expected:

  1. to improve the quality of education
  2. to increase student turn over
  3. to cut back costs
  4. to serve more students in less time
  5. to do research, because that generates money
  6. to be qualified teachers

Will the lecturer, who can realise all 6, rise…….

These signals definitely stagnate any constructive change.

The departure point should be on innovating a course, improving the quality of education, the level of knowledge, and possibly student pass rates, to uphold the good name of the university. Moreover the costs to come to a new proposal should not be thrown down the drain, due to excuses that sound as resistance to change.

So the questions we really should ask:

  • is it at all possible to keep the quality of education
  • are new programmes really more expensive than the old ones
  • Is it possible to think out of the box and come up with creative and new solutions

Maybe we should just go for disruptive innovation and MOOC the university, become a private entrepreneurial institution, earning money on top – level research…..



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