Universities need to do more with less: scholar

Devan C. Tasa, News Editor Ω

Markus Freiburghaus, the business school study director from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, talks about providing better post-secondary education with less funding as part of International Days on Feb. 8. - Photo by Devan C. Tasa

Markus Freiburghaus, the business school study director from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, talks about providing better post-secondary education with less funding as part of International Days on Feb. 8. – Photo by Devan C. Tasa

Universities around the world need to provide a better education at a lower cost per student, said a guest lecturer from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland.

Approximately 30 people gathered in the Campus Activities Centre on Feb. 8 to listen to Markus Freiburghaus, the director of studies of the university’s school of business, give his eight suggestions on how to achieve that based on his experiences.

First on the list is making sure universities grow in a controlled manner so as to take advantage of the cost savings of being big while ensuring it doesn’t increase other costs too much.

“Finding that right size is one of the challenges of the future,” he said.

Freiburghaus suggested the use of more interdisciplinary programs to reduce duplication of program resources and establishing partnerships with industry to help provide funding and instructors. He also suggested shorter, more flexible courses for busy students and less exams, saying students and professors alike hate them and they aren’t used in the working world.

He added it’s important to make sure all parts of the university are governed in an autonomous and accountable manner and professors are paid for results – by credits awarded rather than hours teaching.

The final suggestion was to make sure the university has a consistent strategy, making sure everybody’s all going in the same direction.

Freiburghaus told the audience the public, like corporate shareholders, expect universities to do more with less.

“The public has the impression that there are more resources expended than are needed to be spent,” he said.