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Academic arrogance

Something else I'm hearing a bit about these days is the arrogance which pervades the academic establishment here. My concept of education is not solely imparting theory and developing skills, but also preparing a new generation for life in the big wide world. In doing so, I hope that in some small way the world will become a better place. An altruistic and idealistic aim, but at least I'm trying to do something in my own little way.

I believe that many of my students find my teaching style quite refreshing after having endured the excessive formality of the 'ivory tower' university system here. It's quite a new experience for them to be able to ask questions and to openly discuss their hopes and fears, or so it would seem.

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I'm not saying all Italian universities are the same, but certainly several principle ones do seem contain groups of individuals who consider themselves to be mini-gods. 'Zero altruism, maximum power trip', would seem to be their motto. Do not even think about challenging this authority. It must be said that those who are in a position to do something about this really don't have the time to bother dealing with it, because they have businesses and families to run.

In support of what I am ranting about, I would say that I recently heard a story that a certain university was giving all its engineering graduates top marks – that's 110/110 cum laude, until someone stood up and said, 'Hang on a moment. How is it possible that every single graduate is getting the same (top) mark?'.

Of course, the king of the castle is able to do whatever he bloody well likes.

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