College in Other Countries

At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, students have real power over teachers because of the importance of teaching evaluations. If your teaching ratings are low, you can be fired.

A friend of mine works there.  Recently he taught a two-hour class. One student tended to be extremely late, often arriving only 10 minutes before the end of class. One day,

MY FRIEND (friendly) You come so late, why do you bother to come at all?

STUDENT I have another class after this one.

She was serious.

2 Replies to “College in Other Countries”

  1. My undergraduate school also took evaluations seriously. They directly linked them to pay.

    The problem is that challenging professors tended to get bad evaluations (especially those who are stingy graders).

  2. I have a lot of stories like that from my time as a TA at an American university. One young woman, who had already been absent three or four times in the first month of class, stopped coming altogether. She missed a lot of homework and an hourly exam.

    After three weeks she came to my office and asked if she could make up all the work. I asked her where she had been. She said she had decided to drop the course, but then changed her mind.

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