Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Culture shock

My eye fell on a story in Jai Clare's blog, The Cusp of Something, about the University of Cairo. Since I used to work in the university sector (in the UK) I am always interested to hear what goes on elsewhere.

In brief, what happened is that Brazilian writer Paul Coelho turned up to speak to the students, and was introduced by not just one academic but two, both of whom seem to have been excessively fond of the sound of their own voice. Not surprisingly, the assembled students soon became restless, as did the visiting speaker.

It turns out that this is pretty much the prevailing pattern at the U of C. The lecturers regard themselves as second only to God, and the students are supposed to sit there, write it all down, and be grateful.

Well, there are apparently moves afoot to change all that. And the sooner the better, in my view.

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