Thursday, 5 April 2012

My teacher training college

was just that. It was nothing fancy. Indeed the buildings were nothing more than "temporary" transportable buildings placed on a piece of vacant land along one of the busiest roads in the city, around the corner from that and two miles away in the city itself. As students we had to rush from one part of the college to another, often trying to do the two miles in ten minutes. I hasten to add that the staff who approved of my being there were very good about seeing that I was given a lift in their cars because they also had to do the same dash. It was, of course, a ridiculous situation. 
There was another teacher training establishment as well which would have been physically much easier for me to handle but my uncle was lecturing at that and it had been deemed wiser for me not to have to attend it.
There was also a third teacher training establishment for those training to teach secondary school students. To complicate matters I also attended lectures there. Again the staff would see to it that I got to lectures because two of them lectured in the subject I was doing there. It was a simple matter, so they said, for them to take me as well. I paid in time and, later, tutoring.
Eventually the college became a "college of advanced education" and then it amalgamated with a number of other places and called itself  another "university". We now have three in this state. Today's newspaper suggests that we should revert to two. The suggestion comes from the head of this third university.
He is right. The establishment is not a university. It is a convenient means of administering a number of courses, some of which probably do not deserve "degree" status - although I doubt that those doing them would agree with me. It suffers the same problem that our college did although there is, I think, only a campus in the city and a campus in the suburbs and students are not actually required to do as much travel between the two as we did.
My nephews each attend another university. They are almost at the end of their courses. Their university lives have been busy, one is finishing medicine and the other economics/law. There has not been a lot of time for socialising but they have worked largely with the same group of students and/or in one place. University has been a different experience for them.
The students of the third university tell me that the time they spend travelling between the two locations means they have not developed quite the same sense of community. Some of them manage it. Others do not. I wonder what would happen if this third university was to be amalgamated with the other two. They would still need to travel. Will it prove to a be a further division?

1 comment:

Rachel Fenton said...

More and more uni life is becoming disparate, I think. It was heading that way in the UK C2007 - will it spell the end of campus novels, I wonder...