converging parallel lines

Hey over there,

To have a quick understanding of the Swiss educational system I would look here and then also there. This gives and overview of compulsory education before university and then post secondary education. Visually this can be seen here in a diagram with other associated links.

For those outside of the United States an overview of the US system can be found here (this is in reference to Minnesota and can and is slightly different between states). For example here is another explanation aimed at international students.

In a previous post I began to compare the two different methods and is reproduced below:

This and other universities are designed to teach the ability to think to its students. To be critical un understanding material and the implications that each provide. This one thing is what I admire most in the Swiss system is that there is an incredible amount of professionalism that goes into not only the work done by the students but also the dedication of the professors and academic staff. This consistent level of professionalism is transferred to the students and then results in both vocational and university schools both being of equal prestige.

I feel that this is something that we should take into greater consideration in the United States. We have not only a inconsistent level of professionalism across different professionals, but more importantly a lack of appreciation for those in every profession. This is then tied to the method of pay and amount of support and pay everyone receives. But that is a conversation for later.

Now is that time to bring this topic, though not simple, to the front again. The one thing that I will compare is the amount of support for teachers and professors between the two systems. This is purely my initial reaction to this and not representative overall, but there is something to learn about the method that the Swiss use to support professors and academic staff, specialized to post-secondary education.

Granted there are different tracks such as the vocational and more traditional high school methods with applied arts and university tracks respectively. The vocational track is set up for industry experience in high school, other option is like our more traditional high school concept. The vocational track prepares students for the workforce and help place them in positions and gain expertise for a job while still in school learning: a protected internship environment. The high school track sets students up for university similar to the United States.

Now this sounds similar to the US system in theory, but the implementation and support is widely varied. Here is an example of an applied arts school, continuing through the vocational track. The amount of research and support of the Swiss National Science Foundation is incredible.

This is the difference between the US and Swiss systems that I wish could be implemented in United States. The consistent support by the cantons allows professors to have a base research system and then be able to pursue extra research funds outside of the university system through either the Swiss NSF or other international EU proposals.

This initial support is around 1.5 million Swiss francs before pursuing other funding sources. What could the United States do if we supported our researchers in this fashion? This is why we are trying to converge parallel lines. At this time we could not drop the Swiss system of support into America and not expect a disastrous result. (Mainly due to how America funds education and its NSF much differently in volume and percentage compared to Switzerland).

Therefore, this starts a much longer line in inquiry, generated from seeing and comparing the two systems. How could be combine the two and get as many of the benefits as possible?

What merit is there to a fully endowed American Global University?






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