“glorified high school teachers” refers mainly to the currently prescribed duties of university academics to just deliver set lessons, with lesson plans, objective and outcome prescribed. Teaching is to prepare students for employment and to cater to the needs of the industry.
Many of the problems faced by local universities are also blamed on the obsessive pursuit of enhanced Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and the desire to have good academic rankings.
“The quality of teaching has been basically reduced to student evaluation scores, which meet the ‘quantifiable’ requirement of the KPI mode, as well as the accreditation auditing system, which is also highly stifling.
“These systems also entrench standardisation – asking questions with model answers that perpetuate memorisation and regurgitation – and elevate form over substance. We became only concerned that the documentation is in order, not whether we were equipping students substantively and effectively.”
“KPI is designed not to make an outstanding scholar out of a lecturer, but simply to satisfy the university’s need to move up the ranking. It strips the passion out of being a scholar since one no longer does something for the sheer joy of doing it – but for the sake of number-crunching.
“It robs academia of its soul and turns lecturers into automatons.”