I was chatting to my business colleague, Keith Coats, the other day. His daughter, Tamryn, registered for university this past week. Keith was amazed at the choices of course packages that were available. This sparked a discussion. Keith was at varsity in the 70s. I was there in the early 90s.
In Keith’s days, there were no choices. You decided on your career, signed up to that professional faculty, and were told what your courses would be. When I was there, the core courses were prescribed according to faculty, and some cross-faculty courses were mandated. There were a few empty slots for courses from other faculties (in my Bachelor of Commerce, I had 4 slots for “Arts” courses. I had to get special Senate permission to philosophy as these credits). Tamryn, however, has a dizzying array of courses to select from a variety of different packages. She’s putting a variety of different courses from different faculties together in a wonderful combination of subjects.
This is a wonderful way to prepare Bright Young Things for the requirements of the connection economy. The danger is in making bad choices of subjects. But actually I wonder if its possible to do so… The subjects themselves are there to prepare us for being prepared for whatever can happen. Even “professional” subjects can’t keep up with actual real-life issues, so they are there to provide a foundation for a life of learning.
Oh, to be back at varsity again…

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