Cooking Up Bulgaria's Educational PrideEditorial |Author: Irina Samokovska | August 29, 2011, Monday // 15:46| views
Bulgaria's Sofia-based University of National and World Economy (UNWE) was shown in end-August to have inched up to 13th place in Europe and to 31st place worldwide in a "web ranking" of the top 100 international business schools.
The 2011 edition of the "Ranking Web of World Bussiness Schools", an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the largest public research body in Spain, has registered UNWE's progress from slot 22 in Europe and slot 44 in the world in 2010.
The ranking, which stirred up quite a media buzz in Bulgaria, "uses web indicators from the most important search engines to measure the global visibility and impact of the scientific repositories".
According to the website where it was published, "If the web performance of an institution is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, institution authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases of the volume and quality of their electronic publications".
No indication is given as to what should be done if the web performance of an institution is above the expected position according to their academic excellence, as is the case with UNWE. And as would have been the case with all other Bulgarian universities if listed.
Bulgaria can hardly make use of any statistics about the online visibility of its universities.
Bulgaria does not need to brush up the institutions' questionably measured online presence; it needs to first and foremost improve their functionality and domestic significance.
If statistics will be anything to go by in the country's much-anticipated educational reform, it must include much more relevant parameters such as quality of teaching, students' performance and professional realization and wages of
Instead of struggling to build a feeling of ill-grounded national pride, the state can do one of several dozen things to boost educational standards.
It can, for instance, find a way to reduce the grotesquely exaggerated number of universities per capita in the country to a manageable and meaningful handful of highly-competitive, top-quality academic entities.
It can rethink the principle of "students fetch state subsidy" which leads to unfair competition among universities and to skewed admission rates.
It can align the needs and interests of the academia and the industry, thereby trimming the number of superfluous specialists and redirecting students to less popular yet highly-sought-after programs.
It can curb the practice of inflated enrollment amid dwindling application rates. At present, nearly everyone that applies gets in! The pretext is wider access to higher education. The result is universal effortlessness and carelessness.
It can make the teaching methodology more practice-oriented, shifting focus from mindless repetition of theoretical units to the acquisition of exploration skills, skills for obtaining information, logical and creative thinking capabilities, etc.
After implementing a set of the indispensable reform strategies, why not deservedly boast of the excellent web performance of an otherwise flawless educational unit?
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