And in the process of developing a strong relationship with our international students and UIR administrators, it has become evident that our Chinese partners want to incorporate more of an American-style liberal arts approach to education. While I find this reassuring, I also hope others in American higher education share my excitement.
In higher education, it's entirely too easy to impart knowledge that causes no disequilibrium at all. In fact, it happens all the time. The passive stares and unquestioning note-taking? That's not learning. The transfer of information from an instructor's mouth to the student's pad of paper and back into the blue book at exam time? Also not learning.
The growing emphasis on immediate employment as the single most important outcome is extremely shortsighted and looks more like training than education. It might prepare graduates for a first, entry-level job, but will it prepare them for a dynamic economy where adaptability, creative thinking, cogent and clear writing, effective speaking and teamwork are essential?