You reported about the failure of universities to produce high quality graduate engineers (NCE last week). As a student at university, I find all these reports of failing universities alarming. I have to defend students and ask the question:
'Is it really the students at fault?'
I do have to agree with you on most of the points that you make, but the comment that 'they (students) are coming to the courses asking not what can I learn but what's the minimum I can get away with?'
is not a true reflection on the attitudes of students.
As a third year student, I have encountered the different ways in which lecturers teach and I think that it is here the problem lies. I feel that some lecturers who have, maybe, research to carry out and that are forced into lecturing have an attitude that they are not really there to lecture so they will teach the minimum to get students through. I think it is this attitude along with the teaching in non higher education that is causing the decline in quality.
Richard Hensman Rikhensman@yahoo.co.uk