Studying for a degree by degrees that doesn’t result in a degree

Wednesday, 25 March, 2015

It’s one way to gain a tertiary education, drift from one university to another, and attend whatever lectures you can gain access to. It’s something Canadian Guillaume Dumas did for four years, and while he obviously didn’t end up with a degree, he probably came away far more educated than some graduates…

For four years, the 28-year-old from Quebec lived the life of a wandering scholar, moving from one university town to the next, attending lectures and seminars, getting into heated debates with professors. Sometimes he was open about his unregistered status, but most of the time, fearing reprisal, he kept it quiet. To pay for his everyday expenses, he worked at cafes and occasionally earned money by writing papers for other students.

Related: , ,

Are masters in hamburger making more coveted than MBAs?

Wednesday, 2 February, 2011

That has to be some alma mater… McDonald’s Hamburger University in Shanghai rejects a higher percentage of would-be students than Harvard University, granting entry to just one percent of applicants, compared to the seven percent rate of the US Ivy League institution.

“I’m thrilled and proud to attend Hamburger University,” said Zhou, who in 2007 started as a management trainee in the central Chinese city of Changsha, a job for which she and seven others were among 1,000 applicants. That’s a selection rate of less than 1 percent, lower than Harvard University’s record low acceptance rate last year of about 7 percent, according to the school’s official newspaper.

According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, published in January 2010, some 30,000 people applied for the class of 2014, with about 2,200 ultimately being accepted.

Related: , , , ,

She was graduated at the top of her class at the Beatles academy

Monday, 31 January, 2011

Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy has graduated with the first ever master’s degree in The Beatles, Popular Music and Society, from Britain’s Liverpool Hope University.

In 2009, the Liverpool university launched the programme The Beatles, Popular Music and Society, which examines the “significance of the music of the Beatles in the construction of identities, audiences, ethnicities and industries, and localities”. Zahalan-Kennedy was one of 12 full-time students; she graduated yesterday.

Think you have what it takes to earn a Beatles’ masters? This short quiz will help you decide… I scored seven out ten, maybe I’m a chance for a bachelor’s degree?

Related: , , , ,

How I learned to love university and stop fearing death

Thursday, 9 December, 2010

Fear of death appears to be lower among people with a university degree, but has been found to higher in those whose parents tended to avoid discussion of death and dying when they were children.

While the University of Granada study found higher education stems negative perceptions and fears of death, exactly how or why, wasn’t made clear. Those studying medicine related subjects might be forced to confront the topic, and perhaps come more to terms with it, but what about on other courses?

Related: , , , ,

Degrees in ghostwriting, meet the scholar who never was

Friday, 19 November, 2010

Ed Dante*, who works as a professional essay writer crafting original papers for university students, discusses his line of work, and offers insights into an industry with a size and reach that is greatly underestimated.

You’ve never heard of me, but there’s a good chance that you’ve read some of my work. I’m a hired gun, a doctor of everything, an academic mercenary. My customers are your students. I promise you that. Somebody in your classroom uses a service that you can’t detect, that you can’t defend against, that you may not even know exists. I work at an online company that generates tens of thousands of dollars a month by creating original essays based on specific instructions provided by cheating students. I’ve worked there full time since 2004. On any day of the academic year, I am working on upward of 20 assignments.

* not his real name.

Related: , , , , , ,

Paying, but only by degrees, for a university education

Thursday, 28 October, 2010

A Boston College (BC) Law School student, disillusioned by what he considers to be non-existent employment prospects, something of particular concern to him as his wife is pregnant, has requested a refund of his tuition fees from the last two and half years from the law school, something he believes will benefit both parties.

This will benefit both of us: on the one hand, I will be free to return to the teaching career I left to come here. I’ll be able to provide for my family without the crushing weight of my law school loans. On the other hand, this will help BC Law go up in the rankings, since you will not have to report my unemployment at graduation to US News. This will present no loss to me, only gain: in today’s job market, a J.D. seems to be more of a liability than an asset. I will explain the gap in my resume by simply saying that I attended law school, but was unable to finish for financial reasons. In the short run, refunding my tuition might present a financial challenge to the law school, but in the long run, better US News rankings will help you far more than having yet another disgruntled and unemployed alumnus.

I wonder if this action might set a precedent though.

Related: , , , ,

The internet is not to blame for declining amounts of study time

Monday, 12 July, 2010

Neither the net, or even computers, are the cause of a decline in the amount of time university students spend studying, as such times have been decreasing steadily since the 1960s… where can we point the finger now? At rock music perhaps?

“The easy culprits – the allure of the Internet (Facebook!), the advent of new technologies (dude, what’s a card catalog?), and the changing demographics of college campuses – don’t appear to be driving the change, Babcock and Marks found.” Why so sure? “According to their research, the greatest decline in student studying took place before computers swept through colleges: Between 1961 and 1981, study times fell from 24.4 to 16.8 hours per week (and then, ultimately, to 14).”

Related: , , , ,

Study the liberal arts, degree courses that teach you how to think

Friday, 4 June, 2010

If imagination is more important than knowledge, then it is unfortunate there is not more emphasis placed on study of the liberal arts at university level, since it is a course of study that engages the imagination.

We also need to reacquaint ourselves with something else central to Mill’s conception of a humane society: the imagination. A cultivated imagination is an essential weapon against bigotry and pettiness. By connecting people to depths in their own personalities, it also helps them communicate with others in an informed and responsive way. Today, literature and the arts seem like useless frills to many, but they are intrinsically worthwhile and also of the highest importance for communication and understanding across economic and social divisions.

Related: , , , ,

Living in a van is inexpensive and, somehow, fulfilling

Wednesday, 9 December, 2009

Ken Ilgunas lived in a van which he parked in his university’s car park while he studied for a degree, something he classed as an act of “creative civil disobedience”.

Living in a van was my grand social experiment. I wanted to see if I could – in an age of rampant consumerism and fiscal irresponsibility – afford the unaffordable: an education. I pledged that I wouldn’t take out loans. Nor would I accept money from anybody, especially my mother, who, appalled by my experiment, offered to rent me an apartment each time I called home. My heat would be a sleeping bag; my air conditioning, an open window. I’d shower at the gym, eat the bare minimum and find a job to pay tuition. And – for fear of being caught – I wouldn’t tell anybody.

Incredibly no one, not even university security, or other car park users, realised what he was doing.

Related: , , , , ,

The new ivory tower, stackable uni container homes

Monday, 12 October, 2009

Self-contained, container like accommodation is winning support from a “new generation” of uni students who would rather forgo the antics – and shared shower blocks – of residence halls.

”The students … are changing,” said the director of accommodation at ANU, Marie Wensing. ”A lot of students … have never shared a bathroom. When you’re in the halls … sharing with 15 others it’s a bit of a culture shock.” The apartments have been popular with postgraduate and international students, she said, who wanted more sophisticated accommodation and privacy.

Actually some of these container size homes aren’t too bad at all.

Related: , , , , , ,