Erik's View: Migration, Alcohol & Feminism

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Erik Redli is a university graduate from Slovakia who is currently living in London. Each week he gives his view on the events of the last seven days. This week, he looks at migration policy, binge drinking and feminism.

Free Online Educational Courses

A new craze is sweeping education, with free online educational courses called MOOCS growing in popularity. 

"Many graduates boast about their university degree certificate. But most employers look at your skills and what the prospective employee can bring to the company. If you earn money, no one will dig into where you learnt your skills. Therefore the main asset of education should be the skills and knowledge, not the piece of paper.

I think these online courses hit on the fact that a degree does not automatically stand for knowledge. For example, I completed two courses recently. Although I did not earn the certificates (the maths too difficult for me), I learned a lot of new things that I have already used in my life and job. This makes for a good excuse for the large percentage of students who do not complete their courses. They took what they needed and left the certificates for the academics.

Another thing I like about the online courses is the peer assessment. Every student is asked to grade the work of 5 to 10 others. They learn from each other's mistakes and take the load off the teacher. My former university lecturer stated that many of his colleagues find it almost impossible to grade hundreds of essays in a short time. Peer assessment could be an inspiration."

Saudi Arabia Threatens Social Media Ban

Reports emerged last week that the Saudi government are threatening to block Skype and Whatsapp.

"I do not understand how they hope to ban such social disease as the social networks.

First of all, we have the freedom of information that should be respected by any regime. If not, they call for an intervention on the part of the UN.

Secondly, the defamation and offensive comments that impeach the good name of the government can be taken further. Many twitter users were fined, or prosecuted for too outspoken 140 words.

Thirdly, such a ban would only encourage the hackers and would cause a decline in the popularity of the government."

Egyptian Students Protest After Food Poisoning

500 students at Cairo's Al-Azhar university (pictured top) suffered food poisoning from dormitory food and retaliated by protesting and calling for the university's director to step down. 

"Last week I developed some kind of food poisoning and it really feels awful. But I wouldn't be making these sort of demands so quickly. Being responsible for the poor health of almost 600 students calls for attention, but is it the head of the university who serves the food? They should find the exact step that is responsible for the poisoning and base judgement on that."

Read more posts by Erik here.

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