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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 25. October 8, 1968

For Everything

For Everything

Sir-In reply to David Harcourt's article on the Language Requirement, may I say that, anything he said there notwithstanding, I consider it supremely arrogant for anyone to formulate, or want to formulate degreecourse requirements according only to his subjective preferences. I am sure that neither he nor anybody else can provide a convincing argument that any unit is objectively and intrinsically more worth studying than any-other.

I agree that, in the present debate, it depends on how you regard the B.A. degree; but I propose to disregard it. Tradition in this case should give way, not to a conflicting would-be tradition, but to a more pragmatic approach. Ideally, in my view, universities would give no degrees -employers and other interested peoplep would look to results in individual units for guidance. No units would be compulsory, nor would there be any compulsory prerequisites, although departments might indicate what amount of knowledge and/or proficiency was taken for granted in any given unit.

Any combination of units that the timetable did not rule out would be possible. Employers would widely advertise their preferred units and grades, and grades, and students could study what they liked, concentration on strictly vocational training or on a "broad education" or on any combination thereof — as they pleased.

One of the main limiting factors would be the impracticability of having an infinite number of units taught at a university.


P. D. Zohrab.

[David Harcourt replies: "I have a "subjective preference" for the view that Peter Zohrab is probably more subject to "subjective preferences" than I am, However if he has anything worthwhile to say, he could undoubtedly spout forth at the next meeting of the Education Sub-Committee."—ed.]