Universities Have to Be More Open
July 9, 2010
By Steven Roy Goodman
The Irish and American university systems may have different approaches to subject matter mastery, international education, sports and student housing, but it appears that they share a similar practice of withholding information from prospective students.
According to John Walshe, officials at both UCD and Trinity declined to provide the Irish Independent with the numbers of students in, and applicants to, individual courses. This mirrors US universities' reluctance to publicly define the percentage chance of admission for applicants with different likely majors.
This is not just a subtle academic issue. Thousands of teenagers in both Ireland and the US rely on available university information to plan their academic careers.
Universities in both countries receive generous tax benefits in exchange for their commitments to the public at large. As a matter of public policy, this makes sense as long as universities are able to provide up-to-date and accessible information about educational programmes to a wide cross-section of students.