Institutions worldwide adopt Western model of student support services

March 20, 2012

Long and dearly held in Canada and the US, the notion that PSE should involve personal growth is gaining traction on other continents. To meet the challenges of serving a broader -- and needier -- population, universities in many countries are establishing services to support students. To prepare creative, independent alumni, Abu Dhabi's Zayed University is fostering students' leadership and citizenship through clubs, celebrity meetings, an honour code, teambuilding exercises, and a student council. Such efforts have encountered resistance and criticism. Many educators and students do not believe personal development is a PSE institution's responsibility. Yet greater forces at work -- such as increasing tuition fees and competitive pressure to recruit the best students -- may drive the trend of offering more than just academics. The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)