28 September 2006

Hold still, would ya?

I thought folks out there in this corner of the blogosphere might enjoy seeing a photo of the students who are (or were) attending my lectures on the North American city. At least half of them are geographers, the others are history, literature, or anthropology students. I have a couple of Americans and at least three French kids. The rest are Finns. Students don’t actually register for courses here, which means it’s a bit of a revolving door, really. Students attend lectures, but they won’t necessarily sit for the exam. And if they want, they can petition to take an exam based on reading materials instead. Critics have complained that there are few incentives for students to finish their educations. I’m told that this issue, combined with pressure to standardize emanating from the EU, has resulted in less generous subsidies for university students and the imposition of a cap (five years) on how long students can enjoy the government subsidy. University students pay no tuition, but when Finland decides to bill its foreign students (surely just a matter of time), that benefit will be endangered as well.