clappamungus: (Lab Rats)
This last SoT just passed, Ed and I interviewed someone rather than crap on about science news. It was a nice change, and it was very informative!

Direct link to mp3 file, around half an hour (can't remember and Ed didn't put up the time).

The interviewee was Dr. Rob Morrison, who's a bit of an Aussie science legend - he was one of the hosts of The Curiosity Show which introduced a whole generation of kids to science and, I think, was instrumental as a precursor to critical thinking for a lot of people. He's also the co-founder of Friends of Science in Medicine, a group which since its recent inception has been pushing hard to get "alternative medicine" courses out of Australian Universities, at least in their current incarnation, where they're being taught as viable alternatives along with orthodox medicince. We had a very interesting chat about these issues, and it's well worth a listen. I was worried it would become a polemic, but I thought, after the interview, that FSM are handling the issue very well.

(Oh my god. They have the same acronym as the Flying Spaghetti Monster. That is FREAKING BRILLIANT...)
clappamungus: (Default)
Julie Bishop doesn't believe that one in three overseas students obtain an Australian university degree despite poor English language skills.

Maybe she should ask the people who've taught them. For example, moi.

In fact, I would say that the one in three figure is an underestimate.

Bishop knows damn well that these students pay their way to get in. Therefore basic knowledge of English, let alone proficiency in it, is not the university's highest priority. Funny, if State governments were responsible for tertiary education, she'd be the first one condemning this "sorry state of affairs."

My god, I despise hypocrisy.

Don't get me wrong. I am not of the opinion that potential migrants should have to take language tests. However, if one is going to a country to study there, I think they should at least have a good grounding in that country's main language and improve their language skills while they are in that country.

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clappamungus

March 2013

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