Outline: Do you remember one of our previous articles from an Asian student telling his experience of studying at Católica Business School Business School and also a similar one from a European student? In the following article you can find another European student’s controversial opinion, this time about Nova SBE!
Inspired by the (terrible) review of Católica Lisbon on Uduni, I decided to turn the tables for a bit and write about my university, Nova SBE. I know, not very original and if you knew me you’d know I am not a review-person, but it seems to me that it’s very difficult to give opinions on universities nowadays, so please bare with me. Bare with me! Okay, thank you. (To be honest, I came to this idea of writing a review on Nova SBE because I was amazed by the publicity that the other review had so I thought – what a perfect way to get Nova’s attention onto the recurring issues our folks are facing here! As a foreign student currently studying @Nova, I will preserve my anonymity for the sake of graduating.)
You know what they say, bad is stronger than good, therefore I will use this opportunity to be very critical (!) towards the school as I believe it has, unfortunately, a lot of wasted potential. This review will be in the form of an open letter to the university, an open letter to change for the better, as we, students, ask for it, demand for it, require it. You seem to have forgotten that we are your clients and that you are there to provide access to knowledge, not the other way around!
So here is my Devil’s 3 list or Nova’s-core-issues-nobody-cares-about:
28th Business school in Europe, 31st in International Management, top 20 in finance, Triple Crown etc. Beautiful, isn’t it? Proud, you ask from us to fill in the surveys, “help our school”, because indeed we will benefit from it in the future. On several occasions, I have heard “be kind while reviewing” and it shocked me! You seem to have forgotten that a good school will result in a higher ranking and not the other way around! No, a higher ranking will not make out of you a better school. It may look like a better school, but it will not be. And a school which cares only about its rankings… loses focus on the most important thing – the students.
The invisible force of graders
When I first arrived, I thought it was a joke. Wait what, students who previously took that course with a satisfactory grade can grade you?! So all that story about the connection between the professor and his/her students, where he monitors their progress and gives them feedback? No? Sure, professors don’t have time to grade our assignments. Or maybe they don’t want to? Or why would they want to when you made it so easy not to? (It’s funny how the professors give extreme workloads knowing they don’t have to spend time reviewing it.) It happened to me on various occasions that the grader was unable to articulate himself/herself in English for instance. Or that he/she was unable to give me an explanation for the number of points I got. It even happened to me that I had my classmates as graders (usually the ones that hated me for some reason)! Conflict of interest, huh? The system is so well put in place that all one should care about while studying at Nova is not to piss the graders off and learn how to go do things the way they like it. Pretty disappointing, don’t you think?
Let’s recruit the professors on LinkedIn!
When I see those pretty biographies of professors on Nova’s website, I wonder how come, with all those smart, experienced people, the knowledge here is so scarce. Masters degrees from Harvard, MIT, visiting scholars, published this or that… One gets all excited, let me tell you, and then goes to class only to cry afterwards. With all due respect to some great professors (José Pinheiro I salute you), others seems to have been the product of a recruitment process done wrong. Since when is it irrelevant for a professor to have pedagogical skills? Since when is it okay to sit for three hours and listen a person speak, with no possible interaction at all? Since when is it okay to have a person talk about a subject and provide no sources? You will say, it is difficult to hire the right professors. You will say, the good ones are taken. But we will say, we don’t care! It is not okay to spend thousands of euros to listen to a person who is unable to transmit the knowledge you. It will never be okay.
You will notice that I didn’t mention the workload, I didn’t mention the study space nor the internet. I didn’t even talk about the gap between the Portuguese community and the international community @Nova. Of course, there is field for improvement in all these areas, but that’s not what is really wrong.
You are shifting your focus from the real issues, Nova. And to illustrate that, let’s look at the surf camp you are building in Carcavelos.
Are you shifting your business?
I was not informed.
The author of this article asked to remain anonymous.