Rethinking the university

The NYRB reviews a sextet of recent books looking at who gets admitted into America’s universities, and whether their curriculum needs to be revised. It’d be nice if there was just one book of this ilk coming out in Australia. Ideally, such a book would be deeply embedded in the statistics, and would take account of recent work on admissions such as that by Buly Cardak & Chris Ryan. I’d also enjoy reading some well-informed discussions of curriculum reform. Melbourne’s doing some exciting things with its undergraduate programs, but they don’t get talked about much outside Carlton.

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4 Responses to Rethinking the university

  1. Damien Eldridge says:

    Andrew, what do you think of the structure of graduate economics programs in Australia? In the US (and Canada, I believe), there is typically at least two years of graduate level coursework prior to a student beginning a dissertation. In Australia, the top porograms typically have one year of coursework and some programs have none. Why do you suppose this is the case?

  2. Andrew Leigh says:

    It’s the old British system, isn’t it? (ie. a PhD is about writing a book, not training to be an academic).

    I think it’s changing, though. And perhaps we can even start to unify the coursework throughout Australia, pooling resources across universities to allow all of our econ PhDs to take a top-notch 2-semester sequence in IO, PF, etc etc.

  3. Is it really changing? Are any Australian universities moving towards a US style grad program in Economics? The ANU has had coursework in their grad program for some time now. I think the same is also true of some other universities.

  4. Clarification: My previous comment should read as follows:

    Is it really changing? Are any Australian universities moving towards a US style grad program in Economics? The ANU has had one year of coursework in its graduate program for some time now. I think the same is also true of some other universities.

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