University Life

   Posted by: Janahan Balasingham   in Experience, Personal

I have not posted any blogs for a while. Not because I didn’t want to but because I was busy with facing responsibilities in real life. I have started my University now. I’m doing MSc Software Engineering (Part Time) courtesy of my cousin who is willing to lend me the money for the moment. I really don’t like to get into debt but unfortunately I do not have any other choice. With the way UK government works and universities charging 3 times the money from foreign students compared to the local students who attend the university with no idea or purpose other than their rich parents sending them there. When did studies become a business rather than education for knowledge for the mind seeking to learn? Or am I being naive to expect education to be provided for those who wants to learn than given for those with money?

So far, my experience of University education has been mixed feelings. Since I am doing it part time, I am only attending two modules per semester. Both of my modules are basically the same area only approached differently. One is System Specification where we go through the requirements and specify how the system should be or should operate according to user requirements. Other one is Requirement Engineering which delves into how to read and write the requirements and how to produce them in the documentation. Both are nice theoretical approach and will be very useful on a large corporation projects however what we have learned so far is mostly basic stuff especially in System Specification. Requirement Engineering has only been one lecture as last week it was cancelled due to lecturer being sick. I find that teaching interesting because he seems to make the class interesting and explains things well. Both these classes seem to be inclusive of both BSc and MSc students so the standard is not the higher level but lower level so that BSc students can understand it. That ends up bad for MSc students like me because I am learning quite a few things what I already learned in BSc. Now if it is not a long period of learning, I wouldn’t mind as I need to rehash what I know anyway. But sitting for lectures week after week learning what I already know seems kinda useless.

Maybe my expectation was high and it shouldn’t have been. My BSc was not in a proper university but in a college affiliated with the university. Our teaching in there was pretty ok but I expected a higher quality and knowledge in a university especially when I’m doing Masters. My understanding was that Bachelors is where we learn different areas in the IT industry and then in Masters, we go into specific area where we can attune our skills and knowledge. So learning things from the basic AGAIN seems repetitive.

Anyways, I have decided to make my time more productive as I need these two years to be very useful for me. So what I planned is to read the recommended book for System Specification as that is what he seems to be teaching in bullet-point format in his slides. By reading the book, I may learn more and I can skip the parts I already know. And I can go further than what he intends to teach so I will learn more.

Requirement Engineering seem to teach a different way to what I am familiar with. So I will be focusing on what he teaches in that lecture. I think I can learn more by listening to him because he seems to explain things better than the books he has suggested to read. And since he doesn’t depend on only one book like System Specification, I think his teaching will be useful in the course-work and exams. And maybe I can read the handout book he has provided to see how far he plans to go and how much depth there is to the course.

I am vary of C++ as it seems they are teaching the basics in there according to the students who are attending that lecture. I might need a refresher but an entire module refresher is going to be useless. So I plan to do some early learning before the course and once I start the module, if it seems like basic level, I can do what I plan to do with System Specification and start writing advanced programs in those classes.

By doing as I plan, I think my time will be well spent and I can get something more than just a certificate and a dissertation when I graduate. I hope I can execute the plan without any constrictions.

If only I can plan like this for the rest of my life…

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at 6:38 am and is filed under Experience, Personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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