One of Italy’s leading universities – the Politecnico di Milano – is going to switch to the English language. The university has announced that from 2014 most of its degree courses – including all its graduate courses – will be taught and assessed entirely in English rather than Italian.
I still remember my master thesis dissertation at Politecnico in 1997. My thesis, “Modelling the Self-motion and Environmental-motion Coherence in Yaw” was entirely developed in English during a stint at Delft University in the Netherlands. At the time, I was forced to translate back in Italian a 10-page summary of the thesis and my slides. The defense presentation was also delivered in Italian.
I for one welcome the change. English is (still) the language of international business and academia. It will only benefit students to spend a few years prepping for communications in an English-dominated world.
But some strongly disagree:
Something of the precision and quality of teaching and learning will be lost in translation, when both teachers and students are using a second language. “Speaking Italian to our countrymen is like watching a movie in colour, high definition, very clear pictures. On the contrary, speaking English to them, even with our best effort, is, on the average, like watching a movie in black and white, with very poor definition, with blurred pictures,” says Professor Matricciani.
I am not sure I agree with the spirit of the objection. Do you?
This certainly makes for an interesting dinner topic. The only real problem I see with unbundling the college degree is that it is there is very little flexibility on the demand side of the job market. When it comes to credentials the degree is still an binary filter. You have it or you don’t.
Editor’s note:David Blake is the Founder of Degreed, the new degree for the new world. Previously, he helped launch New Charter University and was a founding member of Zinch, since acquired by Chegg.
Jailbreakverb. 1 To get out of a restricted mode of operation. 2 To enable use of a product not intended by the manufacturer.
Currently, the degree is the only meaningful “unit” of education to which employers give any credence. Of this dependency, TIME magazine writes, “The tight connection between college degrees and economic success may be a nearly unquestioned part of our social order. Future generations may look back and shudder at the cruelty of it… It is inefficient, both because it wastes a lot of money and because it locks people who would have done good work out of some jobs.”
The traditional degree, with its four-year time commitment and steep…
A: Pizza seems to polarize people, maybe cause everyone has a very personal opinion of what a great pizza should be like. Anyway, here’s my very personal list:
A16 delivers top wood-fired owen pizza with seasonal toppings.
Delfina has established itself as a solid spot in the SF pizza scene.
Zero Zero has got to be my personal favorite. Choose the Margherita Extra with buffalo mozzarella.
[Special mention] Pizzaiolo is technically not in San Francisco. Well worth the trip to the Temescal restaurant row in Oakland.
Q: What is the best spot for a drink?
A: So many choices, so little time. This one depends on a number of criteria. I go by the bartender’s craft as the primary factor. San Francisco is home to some of the best. Again, in alphabetical order: