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University Curriculum: Is It Essential For Quality Education?



University Curriculum: Is It Essential For Quality Education?

Higher education is essential for a country’s development. Combining a good syllabus with a guided university curriculum ensures quality education. Moreover, quality education is imperative for the development of the students. It is because today’s students are the bearers of success for tomorrow.

But, we always think of “university” when hearing the phrase “higher education“. And university education should always have a guideline and follow a dynamic approach. Often, we worry whether universities are providing quality education or not.

Through the lens of judging a university’s quality education, we only look at the facilities they provide. We never take into account the curriculum they are teaching.

A university curriculum is an academic framework for all its stakeholders. It acts as a rational and guided plan for its students, teachers, and researchers. Therefore, if the curriculum is a good one, then they all can benefit from the university.

Usually, a university offers various disciplines and they incorporate a range of approaches for these disciplines. They provide the area of major by combining these two. The outcome that students go to the university for. Universities follow a different number of systems for a student to get a degree. They are:

Open Credit System

Usually, Liberal Arts Universities follow an open credit system. Usually, a liberal arts university emphasizes on an undergraduate study focusing on both liberal arts and sciences. Courses offered to follow the university’s aim.

That is to say, it wants the students to have a broad and general knowledge and develop general intellectual capacities.

Closed Credit System

Universities that have either a professional, vocational or a technical curriculum follow a closed credit system. In simple words, students enrolled for a certain degree will not be able to pursue any other course except courses specific to the degree they want.

Example of universities that are closed credit system are institutes that offer engineering, medical and related sciences.

Liberal arts colleges belong to the group of oldest and the most prestigious universities in the world. Yale University, for example, is a renowned university that was established in 1701. They describe their undergraduate curriculum beautifully.

Studying at Yale will be holistic and dynamic – that is their purpose. Such approach of liberal arts colleges that make them important institutions of tertiary education.

The question then lies in… are open credit systems better than closed credit systems?

To be honest, it is a very debatable question. And the answer can never favor any side better than the other. The reason behind this is it entirely depends on the purpose of the study. Yes, we are living in a globalized world today.

Communication has been a revolution and the rise of a neo-liberal economy is the ideology that runs our countries. All universities, be it open or closed credit, are undergoing major transformations.

Today, education is becoming more and more privatized. The curriculum is changing in order to accommodate the global standards and requirements.

Then, how can we measure a curriculum and say if it is good or not?

The answer lies in how universities are adapting to these changes.

  • World-class universities of the West are bringing in courses to universities of developing nations through Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
  • They are offering certificates and charging money for these courses.
  • The notion of getting an international certificate is lucrative to many students.
  • Universities of Bangladesh are trying to cope with these changes. 
  • Some online portals like VisaThingForStudent help Bangladeshi students to choose their ideal university from a range of international universities based on their requirements.

The answer to the main question posted above is simple.

It does not matter if universities are open or closed credit. It only matters if the courses offered are following the global standards.

Anyone can rate a university as “good” if there is a timely transformation in classroom pedagogical techniques.

It is because to assure quality, universities need to track global and national demand. University education should improve students’ skills too. If universities check this and bring such changes then it will be beneficial.

A curriculum will only be good if it provides quality education.

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