Fighting for better education experience…

I am turning October into a training month (it seems). I was only initially thinking of attending the ‘NVivo 8’ courses for navigating my data. But ‘news’ that LTU is ‘closing down’ its training unit to students by the end of the year, had me also registering for the ‘Word 2007 – Long Document & Thesis Formatting’ courses for navigating and formatting my theses. I don’t understand why such course of action is taken, considering that we (students) had to pay for most of the trainings.

The training unit and the LTU Postgraduate Association are still fighting the decision, but still it’s rather risky to wait & ponder whether it will be around next year, so that means I had to cramp 4 days of training in the midst of my transcription process! It’s sickening to see how unis such as LTU is run nowadays – more so like a corporation rather than a uni. It’s beginning to be more about money instead of quality education and experience. They are happy to take all your money, but they’re reluctant to grant you the services you paid for.

Recently, all the postgraduate students in my room, including me, had to be relocated to another room in 2-3 weeks time so that our current room can be converted into an office to accommodate administrative staff. We actually wrote a memorandum expressing our concerns of the recent request to relocate us. This request was actually one of many proposals which had disrupted our working environment in the past twelve months.

These amongst others include informing us in November 2009 that the carpet would be re-laid in the current room by Christmas 2009 and were asked to pack and clear our workstations in expectation of such work. But after several communications with the administrators in between December 2009 to June 2010, the scheduled work did not proceed. We were left in anticipation of such work for months, wondering whether it’s a good idea to pack or unpack. Then in April 2010, the builders removed a wall and workstation in the room without any notice. This sudden renovation left one of my colleagues without a work space and caused major disruption to her work environment.

We felt that we are losing our rights as postgraduate student by the days… Hence, in the memo we highlighted that “we are concerned that the Faculty has failed to accommodate the needs of postgraduate students, especially in terms of the lack of consultation on our part. In addition, the Faculty does not appear to have long term plan for the provision of suitable working space for doctoral/postgraduate students. We belief the message that the Faculty is sending us by such actions is not encouraging of research and learning.”

I personally think the memo would not make much different with our recent situation, but at the very least, we have expressed our thoughts over the matter and hopefully in the future, we don’t get trampled all over that easily! Seriously, it’s about having the best of education experiences, not managing the politics of it. Thinking back, it doesn’t seem that Malaysian unis are doing that bad; seriously!
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