Melbourne model in vogue

October 30, 2008

What a sad indictment of our higher education system when it is stated in Times Higher Education that the only thing that counts is jobs ("From where I sit", 16 October).

Whatever happened to getting a fine educational experience; an education that equips one not just to do a job, but to negotiate successfully in a world where knowledge boundaries are shifting and reforming to create new frontiers and challenges almost daily?

Today's students are true global citizens, they need to be skilled to work in different cultures to step confidently into the four, five or six jobs they will have in their lifetime.

Caron Dann's talk of "heated debates" and her glib dismissiveness of the graduate school model being introduced by the University of Melbourne and the University of Western Australia fails to recognise this.

These graduates - be they from arts or from engineering - will get jobs. Some will move from their undergraduate degree directly into the workplace, others on to a graduate professional degree or research higher degree - and then into work.

Perhaps if Dann spoke to the students - not their parents - she would find out that increasing numbers see the benefits of our Melbourne Model, as the rising demand for 2009 courses proves.

Peter McPhee, Provost, University of Melbourne.

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