Quality in Learning, Education and Training
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LINQ Concludes International Open Research & Education Extravaganza

LINQ Concludes International Open Research & Education Extravaganza | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

“Learning Innovations and Quality” Conference 2015 in Brussels Welcomes Eminent Researchers, Key Players in Global Learning Quality Development

QLET's insight:

"Over one hundred participants from four continents gathered in Brussels to share and advance the most exciting trends in innovations and quality development for learning, education and training. Representatives from internationally-renowned education initiatives joined LINQ participants in Brussels from 11-13 May 2015. The location and attendance allowed for a rewarding shared experience with lively discussions and an intimate atmosphere."

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German Online University Aims to Bring Higher Education to Refugees · Global Voices

German Online University Aims to Bring Higher Education to Refugees · Global Voices | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Students can enroll in classes without proof of identity, and tuition is entirely free. The only time a student must verify their identity with the university is upon graduation.
QLET's insight:

"Founded in December 2014 by the Berlin-based university student Markus Kreßler, Wings University is a non-profit online school that appeals to refugees wishing to continue or begin their higher education. According to the organization's website, it offers:

World-class higher education. Internationally accredited degrees. For everyone, everywhere. Regardless of gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, financial or social status. But tailor-made for the needs and requirements of refugees worldwide."

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PISA’s worldwide education rankings are dogged by sloppy, duplicated answers

PISA’s worldwide education rankings are dogged by sloppy, duplicated answers | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Even the most stringently controlled surveys have some degree of bad data.
QLET's insight:

"It’s important to emphasize right from the outset that all the data for PISA is not faked—far from it. PISA collects various kinds of data, including student testing and principal surveys. “Compared to all other well-known international surveys, PISA ... has exceptionally stringent quality control mechanisms,” write the authors, Jörg Blasius and Victor Thiessen. Despite the evidence they found, they say they “still believe that, compared to all other well-known International Social Surveys, the PISA data are of high quality.”

That’s why they focused on PISA 2009, looking specifically at surveys sent to school principals. If we want to ensure that survey data is trustworthy, we need to look at the strongest example to find out what’s still going wrong even when high quality controls are in place."

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Donald Clark Plan B: Let’s ban the word ‘creative’ in education….

Donald Clark Plan B: Let’s ban the word ‘creative’ in education…. | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

Not a fan of meetings, but meetings where ‘creative’ is the most common word, used (as a synonym for ‘worthy’) have become the bane of my life. Lee Donaghy describes it well as 'the fetishisation of 'creativity' in UK education'. The worst course I ever attended, bar none, was one on creativity. It was mind numbingly banal. I blame Ken Robinson, who is mentioned in angelic tones in such congregations, much like Piaget used to be - until we found out that everything he said was wrong and that he faked his research. For Robinson, I fear, a similar fate awaits. The backlash has already begun (see my critique here). It’s not a bad word, just vague and brings with it several educational myths…..

QLET's insight:

"My frustration is born of the fact that it’s all too easy to mouth abstract terms as a substitute for detail, evidence and practical ideas. Worse, education is opening itself up to that old attack from the right about (I’ll use their shorthand) the ‘blob’. Use vague terms, ignore research and speak at an abstract level without concrete ideas and you will be labelled as vague and untrustworthy. I’m by no means on their side but we need to fight fire with fire and stop retreating into the swamp of obscurity."

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Designs for Learning NUMBER 2/2014

Designs for Learning NUMBER 2/2014 | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Designs for learning has a clear focus on learners in their making and transformation of knowledge. The journal will focus on necessay conceptions of learning, agency, modes and media in relation to meaning making in formal and informal sites of learning.
QLET's insight:

"This issue is in a way a kind conglomerate of approaches and ideas, when it is as its best. From a geological perspective, a conglomerate is a rock, which consists of individual objects that stands out, and of matter that act as an almost cement-like texture, holding these objects together. This matter – made of finer grains – stems from the individual objects. Likewise, as a conglomerate the individual articles in this issue raises specific issues, and at the same time, the theoretical approaches are like fine grain that binds the individual studies together.

 

Editorial, Rikke Ørngreen & Staffan Selander"

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What the Words (of L&D) Mean - Guest Post by Jay Cross | Litmos Blog

What the Words (of L&D) Mean - Guest Post by Jay Cross | Litmos Blog | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Introduction by Brent Schlenker In a series of 2 blog posts Jay Cross shares a few words/phrases and defines them as only he can. I've known Jay for a long time and he's a big...
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Why Technology Will Never Fix Education

Why Technology Will Never Fix Education | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
The real obstacle is student motivation, and no gadget can create that.
QLET's insight:

"Over time, I came to think of this as technology’s Law of Amplification: While technology helps education where it’s already doing well, technology does little for mediocre educational systems; and in dysfunctional schools, it can cause outright harm."

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Reports Highlight Strong Growth and Investor Interest in China, U.S. Game-based Learning

Reports Highlight Strong Growth and Investor Interest in China, U.S. Game-based Learning | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Ask developers or investors if there is more money pouring into or being generated by learning games and the answer is a definitive yes. Ask how much and the answers... more »
QLET's insight:

"But no matter how people slice the learning games market a clear growth pattern emerges in all of their analyses. Markets in North America and Asia both show continued growth and much of the expected interest is in the expanding world of mobile.

And although you can quibble with methodologies and definitions around what is or is not a learning game, one thing has become clear in the last 18 months, investment is flowing to the learning game sector."

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Update on online learning in Africa | Tony Bates

Update on online learning in Africa | Tony Bates | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

The opening this week of the 10th e-Learning Africa international conference prompted this informative report by the British newspaper, the Guardian, about the state of virtual learning in Africa. I have used this to pull together a number of different strands about online learning developments in Africa.

QLET's insight:

Tony Bates: "...the challenge for Africa is to walk two paths at the same time. Online learning should not be used as a replacement for a high quality campus-based higher education system but as an integral part of a comprehensive system of higher education that includes face-to-face teaching, blended learning and fully online learning. Getting that balance right will be a mjor challenge."

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ICDE » The Doctoral Consortium at the World Conference

ICDE » The Doctoral Consortium at the World Conference | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
The 26th ICDE World Conference has a specific stream designated as the doctoral consortium. This stream intends to facilitate and provide a collegial environment where doctoral students in the areas of Open Distance and eLearning, OERs, MOOCs and Technology-Enhanced Learning present their work to a group of mentors and peers.

The aim is to support doctoral students during their ongoing research efforts. The consortium will provide a supportive space where doctoral students can receive constructive feedback from prominent scholars, and serve to build a cohort of young researchers in the identified fields.

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European University Association > Trends 2015: the changing context of European higher education

European University Association > Trends 2015: the changing context of European higher education | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

May 07, 2015

EUA has launched the Trends 2015 report, which presents the universities’ perceptions of the changes that have taken place in European higher education over the past five years, particularly in relation to learning and teaching. Based on survey responses of 451 higher education institutions from 46 countries (48 higher education systems), the report outlines the changing context in which higher education institutions operate.

 

...

 

The quality of learning and teaching is receiving increased attention and support by the academic staff and the institutional leadership. As examples, 60% have a centralised unit for pedagogical staff development, and 63% have institution-wide quality assurance policies and processes. The implementation of learning outcomes has continued to progress since 2010, with 64% of institutions responding that these have been introduced for all courses. Institutions are generally positive about the benefits of learning outcomes. It is clear, however, that in many institutions their implementation appears to have taken place without changing in radical ways how curricula, including examinations, are developed. Therefore this area is still a work in progress.


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Tim Boileau's curator insight, May 15, 2015 1:38 PM

Achieving diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education needs to be a global conversation.

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New gold standard established for open and reproducible research

New gold standard established for open and reproducible research | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Cambridge computer scientists have established a new gold standard for open research, in order to make scientific results more robust and reliable.

Via Ignasi Labastida
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Inspiring Special Events Bring Tested Experts to LINQ 2015

Inspiring Special Events Bring Tested Experts to LINQ 2015 | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

Representatives from internationally-renowned education initiatives will join LINQ participants in Brussels from 11 to 13 May 2015 and share their valuable experiences. Together with the participation of the international community for research on technology-enhanced learning and open education, these initiatives pledge to influence the course of development in education, especially in questions of quality management. Last minute registration for LINQ 2015 is still available.

 

On 12 May, the pioneering Inspiring Science Education project (ISE –www.inspiring-science-education.net) will host a special conference event centred on their experience in technology-assisted science education. ISE has established a multifaceted repository of digital resources for integrating technology into STEM teaching. Their proven approach has enhanced and inspired students all over Europe to drive themselves to make their own scientific discoveries. ISE will share their success stories and help interested educators inspire their own young scientists.

 

Europe’s largest learning technology project, Open Discovery Space (ODS – www.opendiscoveryspace.eu), will host a high-level pre-conference event on innovative school education on 11 May, a theme regarding which the project has collected uniquely extensive experience. ODS firstly empowers stakeholders through a centralised access point for dispersed educational repositories. Secondly, its multilingual portal engages creators in the production of new learning resources. Finally, it collects feedback on the effectiveness of both old and new resources. This trifecta has demonstrated the potential of integrating technology in lesson planning to promote innovation and track quality on an immense scale.

 

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (www.unesco.org) will collaborate with EBE-EUSMOSI (Inclusive Education in Europe: Putting Theory into Practice –www.inclusive-education.net) to host a pre-conference workshop on inclusive education for students through Open and Distance Learning (ODL) on 11 May. Successful integration of varied learner groups is greatly facilitated through the application of learning technologies; UNESCO and EBE-EUSMOSI plan to show participants how.

 

The TELL US Awards (www.tellusawards.eu), the third LINQ pre-conference event on May 11, will showcase 16 finalists from its contest which has evaluated educators from all institutional levels across Europe. Four finalists from four EU regions have been selected based upon their innovative approaches to learning solutions. Their constructive competition has brought forth some of the most promising organisations active in European education to date.

 

The complete LINQ 2015 programme can be found here.

 

Though non-profit in nature, the conference fee and registration through the LINQ website is required. The fee includes all provisions, including warm lunches, coffee breaks, the conference bag, and a copy of the official conference proceedings. Registration for LINQ 2015 is still open, but interested parties should act quickly, as accommodations are limited. Interested parties should go here to register.

For the latest information on the conference, please visit and like the LINQ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LINQConference and follow LINQ on Twitter @LINQ_Conference.

 

Direct enquiries can be sent to the LINQ Conference Manager Mrs Natalja Nillmaier at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany (Natalja.Nillmaier@icb.uni-due.de).

QLET's insight:

“Learning Innovations and Quality” 2015 to Host Special Contributions by Inspiring Science Education, Open Discovery Space Project, UNESCO & more – Registration still open!

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Catalysing change: using research findings to embed engaged research | NCCPE

Catalysing change: using research findings to embed engaged research | NCCPE | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
The NCCPE’s recent web poll suggested that respondents’ attitudes to engagement are shifting. Certainly, more and more higher education institutions are embracing engagement and acknowledging its public value for their researchers and institutions.
QLET's insight:

"The central code of our analysis focussed on engagement as one-way: disseminating, presenting and conveying the outputs of research. Although partnership, dialogue and collaboration were mentioned in both researchers’ definitions of engagement and their descriptions of activities, these terms were applied to a range of very different practices, not all of which were distinctively different from one-way communication.

Of course, we’re not suggesting that one-way communication is somehow inferior to more interactive approaches. For certain topics and in some circumstances, such communication is absolutely appropriate, satisfying a desire for information and supporting understanding. Rather, we were keen to identify patterns in how researchers understood engagement with a view to extending those practices to embrace the principles of engaged research."

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Universities in conflict zones: 'we face intimidation and arrests'

Universities in conflict zones: 'we face  intimidation and arrests' | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
When things get really bad, how can overseas universities best cooperate and help those trying to operate in conflict zones and emergencies?
QLET's insight:

“In developed countries, it is critical to understand the vital role of higher education in fragile states,” says Babury. “No country enters the realm of sustained economic growth without a high-quality higher education system.”

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The new European MOOC Scoreboard includes more than 1,500 courses

The new European MOOC Scoreboard includes more than 1,500 courses | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

The new Open Education Europa MOOCs Scoreboard includes more than 1,500 open courses throughout the EU, 129 of them starting in June.

QLET's insight:

"This interactive tool, updated on a monthly basis, allows you to download and compare data from country to country, institution and subject. It also allows to compare the evolution of European and non-European MOOCs in a graph."

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The corridor of uncertainty: How sticky are your courses?

The corridor of uncertainty: How sticky are your courses? | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

How sticky are your courses? What sort of glue is required to keep learners involved? How do we awaken interest and create the critical momentum and engagement that are needed to guarantee completion? It all depends on what type of course we're talking about and the glue needed on an open online course is fundamentally different from the glue traditionally applied.

QLET's insight:

"We assume so often that only by offering extrinsic rewards can we win students' loyalty and so when those rewards are stripped away, as they are in a non-formal educational context the only glue we have is the fundamental joy of learning and teaching."

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UNESCO: Rethinking Education - Towards a global common good?

What education do we need for the 21st century? What is the purpose of education in the current context of societal transformation? How should learning be organized? These questions inspired the ideas presented in this publication.

 

In the spirit of two landmark UNESCO publications, Learning to Be: The world of education today and tomorrow (1972), the ‘Faure Report’, and Learning: The treasure within (1996), the ‘Delors Report,’ I am convinced we need to think big again today about education.

QLET's insight:

"The world is changing – education must also change. Societies everywhere are undergoing deep transformation, and this calls for new forms of education to foster the competencies that societies and economies need, today and tomorrow. This means moving beyond literacy and numeracy, to focus on learning environments and on new approaches to learning for greater justice, social equity and global solidarity. Education must be about learning to live on a planet under pressure. It must be about cultural literacy, on the basis of respect and equal dignity, helping to weave together the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development."

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Online teaching practices: Sociomaterial matters in higher education settings

Online teaching practices: Sociomaterial matters in higher education settings | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

The aim of this study was to describe and analyse online teaching practices in the Swedish higher education context. The study had an online ethnographic approach and was based on empirical data on the teaching in two university courses. The study rested primarily on observational data but interviews and available documents also formed the basis for analysis. Empirical data were analysed with a perspective of practice theory – a perspective within a sociomaterial account. The results showed that online teaching was characterised by an embodied sociomaterial practice. The teacher’s body could be understood as both multiple and closely interwoven with technology. Furthermore, the teacher’s body was used in the teaching situation to reduce technological complexity but also, along with other forms of materiality, to prefigure what kind of teaching would take place. Teacher interventions in online environments could furthermore be understood as relational to both technology (that is the virtual material arrangement) and teachers’ doings and sayings (that is the teaching practice). Teacher interventions were aimed at making the arrangement intelligible for the students. The study showed that teacher interventions arranged both students and information and communication technology (ICT) in order to make them work as a teaching practice. The teaching practice that emerged was characterised as an interplay between virtual materiality and social practice, where asymmetricrelations between teachers and the ICT prevailed.

QLET's insight:
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8390-7975

 

 List of papers

 

1. Teachers' embodied presence in online teaching practices

 

2. Teacher interventions in online teaching practices

 

3. The emergence of online teaching practices

 

4. Teaching practices in Second Life


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What If The Problem Isn't With MOOCs But Something Else?

What If The Problem Isn't With MOOCs But Something Else? | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it
Is this another post about how MOOCs are misunderstood ideas that the critics all get wrong? Not quite. There are problems with MOOCs, but I'm still looking at the conversation about MOOCs in gener...
QLET's insight:

"What if MOOCs are just a mirror that shows us the sociocultural problems we don’t want to deal with in our system?

What if the problem is not with the learners, but the way they have been programmed through the years? Grades, credits, failure, tuition, fees, gold stars, extra recess for good grades, monetary rewards, etc are all programmed into learners from a young age.

You can say MOOCs are failing because they lack sufficient “student motivation,” but what if it was actually the case that society has been failing for decades and MOOCs are just exposing this?"

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Essay on what's next for European higher education | InsideHigherEd

Essay on what's next for European higher education | InsideHigherEd | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

This month was significant for European higher education, with the Bologna Process Ministerial Conference on May 14-15 in Yerevan, Armenia. This was the ninth conference since June 1999, when the European ministers responsible for higher education signed the Bologna Declaration, which paved the way for the most intense intergovernmental cooperation in higher education policy in the world.

The Bologna Process has involved a voluntary convergence and coordinated reform of higher education systems across the member countries of the European Union and beyond. The aims have been to promote the mobility of students and staff and to enhance the quality and international competitiveness of European higher education. In 2010, the Bologna Process brought about a formal launch of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).

Initially 30 countries signed the Bologna Declaration; with the accession of Belarus this month there are now 48 members. Sjur Bergan of Council of Europe commented after the conference about the significance of the accession of Belarus: “Belarus is the first country to accede after the formal establishment of the EHEA in 2010 and the first to do so with a road map. This could very possibly set a precedent for any later accessions.”

Bologna has had a number of successes. A common three-cycle degree structure was adopted across countries. The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System makes it possible for mobile students to transfer course credits acquired at one institution to get recognized by another institution. The European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Europe, of which ministers adopted a revised version in Yerevan, and the European Register of Quality Assurance Agencies ensure that all countries have compatible internal and external quality assurance procedures.

Despite these undoubtedly positive developments, there has been a sense across EHEA that the Bologna Process has been running out of steam. The past few years have been devoted to ensuring that structural reforms included in past Bologna recommendations happened in all member countries. Of course, policy implementation on such a grand scale, across almost 4,000 higher education institutions in Europe, is not without problems.

QLET's insight:

"New is the objective of “enhancing the quality and relevance of learning and teaching." This is the first time that quality of teaching and learning has been emphasized in such strong and unambiguous terms. In the early Bologna communiqués, teaching and learning were completely absent; these subjects were first brought onto the agenda in 2005 in reference to quality assurance, and, from 2007, a focus on student-centered learning."

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Enhancing teachers’ digital skills through best practices and the online academy

Enhancing teachers’ digital skills through best practices and the online academy | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

Teachers have been constant promoters of innovation in schools. However, with regard to the integration of ICT, many teachers do not possess the necessary competences for the pedagogic use of these tools.

QLET's insight:

"The DigiSkills project, funded by the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, focuses on the development of digital competence for teachers and trainers. The project provides a platform for sharing best practices in ICT use, as well as an online open course centre, the Digital Competence Academy, where teachers can update their digital skills. Over 1000 teachers are currently participating in DigiSkills activities in different European countries. "

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The first global overview of quality models in online and open education

The first global overview of quality models in online and open education | Quality in Learning, Education and Training | Scoop.it

This study carried out on behalf of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)  by a team coordinated by the European Association for Distance Teachng Universities (EADTU) is for:

 

institutional leaders responsible for quality in online, open and flexible higher education

 

faculty wanting to have an overview of the field

 

newcomers that want to develop quality schemes

 

policy makers in governments, agencies and organisations

 

major educational stakeholders in the international community

 

It is a must-read for any person concerned with quality in online, open and flexible higher education.  

QLET's insight:

"State of the art and recommendations This study carried out on behalf of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) by a team coordinated by the European Association for Distance Teachng Universities (EADTU) is for: institutional leaders responsible for quality in online, open and flexible higher education faculty..."

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Understanding the Self-Directed Online Learning Preferences, Goals Achievements, and Challenges of MIT OpenCourseWare Subscribers


Via Ana Cristina Pratas
QLET's insight:

This research targeted the learning preferences, goals and motivations, achievements, challenges, and possibilities for life change of self-directed online learners who subscribed to the monthly OpenCourseWare (OCW) e-newsletter from MIT. Data collection included a 25-item survey of 1,429 newsletter subscribers; 613 of whom also completed an additional 15 open-ended survey items. The 25 close-ended survey findings indicated that respondents used a wide range of devices and places to learn for their self-directed learning needs. Key motivational factors included curiosity, interest, and internal need for self-improvement. Factors leading to success or personal change included freedom to learn, resource abundance, choice, control, and fun.


In terms of achievements, respondents were learning both specific skills as well as more general skills that help them advance in their careers. Science, math, and foreign language skills were the most desired by the survey respondents. The key obstacles or challenges faced were time, lack of high quality open resources, and membership or technology fees. Several brief stories of life change across different age ranges are documented.


Among the chief implications is that learning something new to enhance one’s more important than course transcript credit or a certificate of completion.

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María Dolores Díaz Noguera's curator insight, May 8, 2015 1:15 PM

Aprendizaje autodirigido ....cchievements... | @scoopit via @AnaCristinaPrts http://sco.lt/...

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Sweden: Foreign student sues university over course quality - University World News

The Centre for Justice is suing Mälardalen University College on behalf of a US student whose course allegedly did not match the level of quality promised.

It is the first case of its kind since tuition fees were brought in for university students from outside of the European Union in 2011.

The student, Connie Dickinson, is seeking repayment of SEK182,500 (US$22,000) for tuition fees paid for MA studies in Analytical Finance in 2011-12.

The course was taught in English for Swedish and international students and marketed as being of “very high quality”.

But, according to Dickinson, the professors had poor English skills making communication difficult, there were not enough computers for parts of the course, the room was too crowded and the professors were not very helpful in their contact with the student. Several times she raised these issues with the college, but to no avail.


Via Harvey Mellar
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