Education in move Austria

Higher Education in Other Countries – Broadening Our Horizons

University of LlubljanaI attended the 10th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform (HER) hosted by the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Oct. 2-4. This is a small conference that moves around each year – last year it was in Pittsburgh, previous locations include Berlin, Vancouver, Shanghai, and Mexico City. One of the chief instigators of this series of conferences is long time CSSHE member and former board member Hans Schuetze. Here is a photo of the main conference venue, the rectorate of the University of Llubljana.
It looks a bit fancier than the often utilitarian buildings on Canadian campuses. And the inside is also a bit fancier – here is Hans sitting under a very fance chandelier as he listens to one of the keynote presentations.

Hans at conferenceThe participants in these Higher Education Reform (HER) conferences come from universities and colleges all over the world. Talking to them during the sessions and the breaks is an education in itself, and tends to broaden one’s conception of what higher education systems are like in places that are very different from Canada and the nearby United States. Even places that don’t seem so different, such as Austria and Germany, operate their HE systems in ways that are quite different from ours. During one of the many interesting presentations at the conference CSSHE board member Lesley Andres, along with Hans Pechar, described how the academic career track – from graduate student to full professor – differs considerably in Austria and Germany, as compared to the pattern in North America that we are more familiar with. The pattern in North America seems to lead to more satisfying academic careers, maybe because our systems are to a lesser extent the result of historical baggage.

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