Dear AUM News Weekly,
I want you to publish a few thoughts I gathered during the past few weeks that relate to the way we see our students and our work at AUM.
We are as good as our students
This is AUM’s motto. Most of us ridicule this, and we always laugh at that line. In fact, not a single soul at AUM takes it seriously. We do not because:
- No professor has a say in student admissions. None of us know what the entry exams are, nor do we grade them. We all believe the criteria are commercial, rather than educational.
- No professor has a say in the final grades of students for two very simple reasons – the gradebook contains countless assignments and quizzes for 0.0005% and the overall grades are constantly curved. AUM mistakenly believes that to be “student-oriented”, it must keep students busy all the time with tests and assignments, and that this must eventually be rewarded with a pass garade. We do not spend time teaching them; we spend time writing exams and tests.
- No matter what we do, students know that they will pass. Their diploma has 0 value. Not only is it not accredited, but it also has become the object of a moneyed exchange – “Give me, Doctor.” And out of fear of Student Afairs conplaints, some Doctors give. Many students are here because their parents want to marry them off for a better dowry. Many others are here to socialize.
Only those of us who are at AUM for the money are actually as good as our students. And new recruits will be increasingly so as AUM will have more and more trouble recruiting quality professors.
It is curious, however, that AUM demands of its staff something it calls “character “.
A friend and colleague of mine took this picture when he was going for the interview. He was concerned about how he would work with people who have 25% technical knowledge in their Engineering domain. How to teach future engineers when you, yourself, have not acquired even 50% of the knowledge you need in order to perform your job? He told me that he wondered then if he corresponds to the “We are as good as our students” motto and hoped that he would be among those pioneering teachers to raise the level of that 25%…
Four years later he is jobless for having only done his job, which is teach, and for trying to raise the level of these students. He was hoping to give Kuwait a future. But that did not go along AUM’s idea of what it wants to do. AUM raises a generation of students who know how to buy with what is not their own money, a generation of make-believe fakers who only care about looks, not about substance. So having a character to value genuine learning and knowledge is not part of what AUM means by “character”. “Character” for AUM means “shut up and pretend you are intelligent”. If you need to do something, go and pay some Indian/Pakistani guys to do it for you. That is why most AUM students fail both midterm and final exams, and that is why they have three midterms and a final of 20%.