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Pedro Gonçalves

BBC News - End of empire for Western universities? - 0 views

  • The forecasts for the shape of the "global talent pool" in 2020 show China as rapidly expanding its graduate numbers - set to account for 29% of the world's graduates aged between 25 and 34.
  • The biggest faller is going to be the United States - down to 11% - and for the first time pushed into third place, behind India.
  • The US and the countries of the European Union combined are expected to account for little more than a quarter of young graduates.
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  • Across the industrialised world, graduate numbers are increasing - just not as quickly as China, where they have risen fivefold in a decade.
  • This changing world map will see Brazil having a bigger share of graduates than Germany, Turkey more than Spain, Indonesia three times more than France.
  • The UK is bucking the trend, projected to increase its share from 3% in 2010 to 4% in 2020.
  • "There are more students in China than ever before - but they still use Western mechanisms to publish results, they accept the filters," says Prof Mayer-Schonberger.
  • The maps also reveal how much Africa and South America are losing out in this new scramble for digital power.
  • "Each era has its own distinct geography. In the information age, it's not dependent on roads or waterways, but on bases of knowledge.

    "This is a new kind of industrial map. Instead of coal and steel it will be about universities and innovation."

Pedro Gonçalves

College Degrees: More and More, They're Just a Piece of Paper - 0 views

  • “A computer science degree from 1987 isn’t worth much if they haven’t stayed current. I’d rather present a self-taught developer if he has a couple of shipped products under his belt.” She does admit that a degree can be a good tie-breaker, and a paper from a top-tier school shows an applicant “was at least smart enough to get in.” In the end, though, “Clients are interested in ability. If you have the chops and the experience, you’re getting hired – unless [the client] is looking for a front-pager.”
Pedro Gonçalves

Academic claims Israeli school textbooks contain bias | World news | The Observer - 0 views

  • The Arab with a camel, in an Ali Baba dress. They describe them as vile and deviant and criminal, people who don't pay taxes, people who live off the state, people who don't want to develop," she says. "The only representation is as refugees, primitive farmers and terrorists. You never see a Palestinian child or doctor or teacher or engineer or modern farmer."
  • Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied the content of Israeli school books for the past five years, and her account, Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education, is to be published in the UK this month. She describes what she found as racism– but, more than that, a racism that prepares young Israelis for their compulsory military service.
  • "One question that bothers many people is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform. I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians."
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  • The killing of Palestinians is depicted as something that was necessary for the survival of the nascent Jewish state, she claims. "It's not that the massacres are denied, they are represented in Israeli school books as something that in the long run was good for the Jewish state. For example, Deir Yassin [a pre-1948 Palestinian village close to Jerusalem] was a terrible slaughter by Israeli soldiers. In school books they tell you that this massacre initiated the massive flight of Arabs from Israel and enabled the establishment of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. So it was for the best. Maybe it was unfortunate, but in the long run the consequences for us were good."
  • Children, she says, grow up to serve in the army and internalise the message that Palestinians are "people whose life is dispensable with impunity. And not only that, but people whose number has to be diminished."
  • The family produced a poster, calling for a peaceful settlement to the conflict, featuring Peled-Elhanan's only daughter, Smadar. It's message was that all children deserve a better future.

    Then, in 1997, Smadar was killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber while shopping in Jerusalem. She was 13. Peled-Elhanan declines to talk about her daughter's death apart from once or twice referring to "the tragedy".

    At the time, she said that it would strengthen her belief that, without a settlement to the conflict and peaceful coexistence with Palestinians, more children would die. "Terrorist attacks like this are the direct consequence of the oppression, slavery, humiliation and state of siege imposed on the Palestinians," she told TV reporters in the aftermath of Smadar's death.

  • "University professors stopped inviting me to conferences. And when I do speak, the most common reaction is, 'you are anti-Zionist'." Anybody who challenges the dominant narrative in today's Israel, she says, is similarly accused.

  • Asked if Palestinian school books also reflect a certain dogma, Peled-Elhanan claims that they distinguish between Zionists and Jews. "They make this distinction all the time. They are against Zionists, not against Jews."

    But she concedes that teaching about the Holocaust in Palestinian schools is "a problem, an issue". "Some [Palestinian] teachers refuse to teach the Holocaust as long as Israelis don't teach the Nakba [the Palestinian "catastrophe" of 1948]."

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