There’s an interesting commentary on nee’s site today about how she’s irritated that someone she knows is managing to get their math requirements waived because they have a “math phobia.” She figures (and rightly so) that it’s not fair to other people in that program, if their peer is allowed to have the same degree without completing all of the requirements.
Which brings me to my peeve when it comes to my experience at University…
I did my degree in Communication. Not necessarily as critical as Philosophy, but definitely less smarmy than Business. It is, however, a discipline whose work depends heavily on a strong command of the English language. The whole point of the practical application of Communication is to be able to convey your ideas effectively (no, I do not apply my skills in this to much of my blog).
Part of living in Vancouver is that it is a very multicultural, international city. Many people living and going to school here do not speak English as their first language. I, however, feel very strongly that if you are doing a University Degree here, you must have a strong command of the language in which you are studying. Bottom line.
The fact that other students can come into the program (because they weren’t accepted to Business Admin.) and write all of their essays in “Engrish” and get the same degree that I worked my arse off for really burns my butt. I’m sure that if I wanted to do my degree in France, I’d not do well because I don’t have a good command of French, and that’s not something you can just pick up along the way. Just because you passed ESL doesn’t mean you’re proficient at English.
It’s also a problem at the University Administration level. The fact that they let people complete degrees with a (in my opinion) sub-standard level of work devalues the degree that they charge us so much for the “privilege” of completing. It’s no secret that international students bring in about 3 times the money of local ones. Not that I have any problem with the students themselves – but I absolutely have a problem with my work being lumped in with a lot of substandard product as a representation of my degree with that institution.