Should UBC’s next strategic plan put an increased focus on undergraduate teaching?
Week 3 Results
Week 3 Comments
“Ugh! UBC does not need to put an increased focus on undergraduate teaching. I think that UBC is doing an adequate job of this sort of lip service already. As a faculty member, I’m tired of the top down approach to how I should teach. Since every academic unit is unique, teaching should be dealt with as a departmental issue – curriculum mapping and all that jazz. By the way, good question.”
“Yes, I think that UBC should put an increased focus on teaching and research at the undergraduate level. Remember, these undergraduate students are going to be our future graduate students, researchers and leaders. Unfortunately, many undergraduate labs lack funding to even replace the ancient equipment to provide a meaningful research-based experiential learning to our undergraduate students. Also, in the past, many departments/courses were forced to cut the lab components in order to balance their budgets. Therefore, in my opinion, UBC must focus on increasing funding for undergraduate teaching and research. This should be considered as an investment, not a subsidy or a handout.”
More than a decade of across-the-board budget cuts have seriously impacted the delivery of core programs. Student numbers have increased leading to increased class sizes, while budgets for TAs have shrunk or have even been reduced to zero. We need to focus resources on these core programs BEFORE initiating new, and unproven, educational initiatives. Our prime objective should be the delivery of the best possible education to the students of British Columbia and we simply cannot do this until appropriate resources are directed to support the overwhelming majority of courses that have suffered from past budget cuts.
Relating to last weeks question, undergrad teaching is important to improving our ranking, and ranking is extremely important to our global image. Teachers can have a huge effect on students willingness to learn, leading to more students in research, and more research dollars!