I am biased for the establishment of new educational institutions. This comes probably, from being enrolled for such institution during my BA. The college was rather new, but the school of communication into which I was accepted was founded only that year. I was part of the first class ever, and as much had my share of problems, ranging from the occasional less-than-satisfactory curriculum on the one hand and bad press reception of my anticipated degree on the other.
I remembered all this while reading Doug Clow’s post on the New College of Humanities in London. This is a new private for-profit institution, which flashes the names of some of the best Humanities scholars around, but demands £54k tuition fees. I urge you to read Clow’s post, but I also wanted to offer some personal thoughts.
1. Those places really try to balance the population. Ironically, I’ve found private institutions much cheaper to study if you have good skills. They are much more forthcoming with scholarships and loans.
2. The inferiority complex coming from this place (“you’re not a real university!”) drives the faculty to look for creative ways to distinguish themselves. Some are marketing gimmicks, but some are really innovative techniques.
3. Clow asks why would a student choose to study in a place like that, and gives several possible reasons. But whatever the reasons might be, the students coming to these kinds of institutions are more adventurous, ambitious and interesting. This I can guarantee.