Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Adventures of Katz and Dodds: Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World

The quote, by the way, is from Swift, it isn’t some kind of awful patronising US view of things. The theme of this was basically 2 Educause type guys go to Yurp, learn all about the Bologna Agreement, drink wine, eat fine food, get worried that the Yurpeens are getting their act together, but conclude “vive la difference.”
They started off with a think that is all over this conference, the problems of an “aging population”, which both Yurp and the US have. I will return to this aging or ageing stuff in a later post.

Their view of Yurp:

  • dynamic but unhurried

  • Mediaeval but post modern

  • Cosmopolitan but local

  • Cleaving – in both senses of fusing together and tearing apart

Their conclusion from these tensions was that Yurp was either a. a continent in balance, or, b. something undergoing a transition. They came down on the side of b.
They were very clear about Bologna – clearer than many UK people are – but they had been sold a line that Bologna was an external force for change in a system that clung to tradition. I should mention at this point, that they obviously never went to anywhere like SHU, it was all awed remarks about visiting universities that were founded in the 13th century etc

Choice quotes:

  • We often see Yurp as art galleries and old buildings, but there is more to it than that

  • Its all a mashup – accompanied by a picture of swiss didgeridoo band, and there are mosques over rural england

  • The English language is bringing the world to the US, will we meet it

  • Mentioned how OU told him they were struggling to get on with elearning

  • In UK the news tells you what is going on in places like Africa

The final image of a road sign for a humped pelican crossing – two nations divided by a common language anyone?

1 comment:

Paul Helm said...

In an unguarded moment in another session, Katz referred back to Yurp road trip and talked about Oxford Uni telling him they are considering requiring students to sign contracts that require them to show up at lectures and tutorials cos they are not turning up, and, at the OU there has been a 30% decrease in tutorial attendance - and they have 80000 pt tutors and a SSR of 22-1, thats a lot of money for a service folk dont use