The view at 30,000 feet

by reestheskin on 25/01/2016

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I was on a plane from Amsterdam yesterday, sitting next to a particle physicist, after a trip to Zurich for the European Dermatology Foundation meeting. I didn’t get his name, but he had worked at CERN and FERMI ( I guess if you are a particle physicist…..), and was on his way to Edinburgh for a regular meeting of researchers.

Couple of things in our conversation, that I would have liked to have known more about. First the phrase, ‘fees refugees’, referring to the increasing number of students from the UK now studying in the Netherlands (fees, 2000€). Strikes me that there are good opportunities for many small EU countries there. I know Maastricht plays this line, too. And the other — which we passed over quickly unfortunately — were attempts to emulate or recreate the US liberal arts college model. If much learning is ‘distant’, whether than means true distance learning, or just the poor ‘distant’ experience some of our students get on campus, then revisiting a sense of community and focus on teaching is worth taking further. In medicine, students are sent out from the city, because we cannot cope with the number in the city, in terms of the amount of clinical experience expected. Many students enjoy their regional experience, but not all. If every hospital is a teaching hospital, no hospital is a teaching hospital. It is also much easier to brand a city, rather than a region.