The debate about the future of universities in Finland has been quite intense in the last couple of years. There have been various kinds of protests, including occupations of university buildings by angry students and critical declarations by professors. Some, such as the eminent scholar of Arabic and Islam Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila, have decided to leave the country, citing the hostile attitude of the current government of Finland toward the universities as one reason. Continue reading
While the public nature of the secondary education in Finland is praised, the universities are under increasing privatization pressures. Finnish high schools have become world-famous for their lack of tuition fees, fairly non-hierarchic atmosphere and the relative freedom of teachers. For the universities, however, many key decision-makers have been offering privatization, tuition fees, army-style command structures and increasingly strict time control over teachers.
I have a very simple hypothesis about one of the reasons for this tensions. It is the seeming incapacity to read rankings. This incapacity seems to characterize a significant number of the people in charge of the Finnish educational system. Continue reading