University Diaries
A professor of English describes American university life.
Aim: To change things.
Contact UD at: margaret-dot-soltan-at-gmail-dot-com

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Les Fantomes

They're trying again. Almost every European country periodically tries to drive a stake through the heart of its vampiric university system. We just saw another failed effort in Greece.

Nicholas Sarkozy is the most recent ghoul-slayer.

If he actually passes legislation, the streets of Paris will teem with the living dead.

From the International Herald Tribune:

'[T]he French system just produces dropouts. Forty-five percent of Sorbonne students do not complete their first year of university, and 55 percent do not finish their degrees. Without entrance standards, there is a "selection-by-failure" that squanders resources and professors' time on weak students who "have no real chance of success," [the system's president] said...

There's even a "phantom student" phenomenon where as many as 10 percent of students on the rolls never see the inside of a lecture hall, having enrolled only for free health benefits and student discounts on everything from train travel to movie tickets.

... The University of Shanghai publishes a world-ranking of universities, and in 2005, the top French University placed 46th, behind more than 30 American institutions...

The phantom students will rise up from their coffins and take to the boulevards in defense of their movie tickets, and the government will be paralyzed.