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2016-06-02    来源:外研社的博客    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Earlier this spring I attended my mother-in-law’s graduation ceremony at the University of Buckingham, where she was being awarded an MA in history of art.
今年春天早些时候,我参加了我的岳母在英国白金汉大学(University of Buckingham)的毕业典礼,她被授予了艺术史硕士学位。

The individual chosen to address his fellow graduands was the retired British judge Sir Oliver Popplewell, who chaired the inquiry into the Bradford City stadium fire and presided over the libel case that led to the former UK minister Jonathan Aitken going to prison for perjury.
被选中向同期毕业生发表演讲的是退休的英国法官奥利弗•波普尔韦尔爵士(Sir Oliver Popplewell),他曾领导对布拉福德城(Bradford City)球场大火的调查,并曾审理导致前部长级官员乔纳森•艾特肯(Jonathan Aitken)因作伪证而入狱的诽谤案。

The 88-year-old was collecting nothing less than his fifth degree, a masters in military history. His speech began with a joke, recounting how, when embarking on his philosophy, politics and economics degree at Oxford, he was given a lecture on it being merely a prelude to a larger obligation — the solemn duty of giving back to the community. The punchline: he was in his mid-seventies at the time and had rather felt that he was all done on the giving-back front.
现年88岁的奥利弗爵士竟然是在领取他的第5个学位——军事史博士学位。他的演讲以一个笑话开头,他讲述了他在牛津大学(University of Oxford)攻读哲学、政治学和经济学学位的经历之初,他听了一堂讲座,主题是学业不过是履行一项更大的义务的序曲——回馈社会的庄严责任。笑点:他当时都七十多岁了,他感觉自己已经在回馈社会方面尽到了责任。

It was hard not to be inspired. Sir Oliver started accumulating degrees in 1950 with a BA in law at Cambridge, which was followed by an LLB at the same university (his other degree is a masters in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics).

很难不被这样的事例鼓舞。奥利弗爵士在1950年开始收集学位,那一年他获得了剑桥大学(University of Cambridge)的法学文学士学位,后来又在剑桥获得了LLB法学学士学位(他的另一个学位是从伦敦政治经济学院(LSE)获得的国际关系史博士学位)。

Likewise, the energy of the twentysomethings picking up their first degrees was stirring, especially the Bosnians who had come over as part of a partnership between Buckingham and the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. Yet the relative lack of fortysomethings and fiftysomethings in gowns and mortar boards meant that there was also something slightly depressing about the occasion.
同样的,那些拿到平生第一个学位的二十多岁的年轻人的活力也让人感动,尤其是那些借助白金汉大学和萨拉热窝科技学院(Sarajevo School of Science and Technology)合作办学来学习的波斯尼亚人。然而穿着学士袍,带着学士帽的人中,四、五十岁的人相对较少,这意味着这个场面中也有一些让人略感沮丧的事情。

Perhaps it was self-interest on my part as I am a member of the forty-something group myself, but it strongly suggested that education now straddles two age groups — young adults and the retired. For the former, it is a means to advancement; for the latter, it is a noble leisure pursuit.

For the dream of life-long learning to be realised fully, those in the 35-60 age group must also be given the opportunity to refine and revise their skills throughout their careers, which could well stretch into their seventies.

This is not happening enough. Executive education has traditionally been one niche in which the middle aged have been able to polish their skills. But the supercharged intensity of the modern office makes it hard to get away from daily duties.

Glenn Hubbard, dean of Columbia Business School, ruefully observes that its MBA graduates have a lifetime entitlement to come back and sit in on any class — but they almost never find the time. “People don’t take me up on it because they are busy,” he says.
哥伦比亚大学商学院(Columbia Business School)院长格伦•哈伯德(Glenn Hubbard)有点感伤地表示,该校的MBA毕业生终身享有回到学校,进入任何一个课堂听课的权利——但他们几乎永远都抽不出时间。“人们不接受我的这个邀请,因为他们太忙了,”他说。

Likewise, Harvard Business School’s venerable Advanced Management Program for executives used to last 13 weeks but needed to be condensed to a more manageable eight weeks (at a cost of about $80,000 a course nowadays).
同样的,哈佛商学院(Harvard Business School)针对高管的负有盛名的高级管理课程过去持续13周,但需要浓缩到更易于安排的8周(课程费用现在达到8万美元左右)。

Meanwhile, a report by the UK’s Institute of Directors in April illustrated how patchy the provision of education to mid-career staff is across the workforce, rather than just at the top of the hierarchy. It pointed out that UK company spending on in-work training had declined by between a quarter and a half since the 1990s, albeit with a bit of an uptick recently.
同时,英国董事学会(Institute of Directors) 4月发布的一份报告显示,和职业体系顶端的情况不同,在整个劳动力大军中,对职业生涯中期的员工所提供的教育参差不齐。该报告指出,英国公司在在职培训上的支出自上世纪90年代以来下降了四分之一到二分之一,尽管近来有所回升。

Would-be mature students are turned off by the sheer difficulty of fitting formal study into their busy lives, the report observed, adding that businesses were understandably keen to reduce spending on education.

The IoD recommended tax breaks to encourage companies to allow staff to keep learning — with even bigger incentives dangled in front of smaller employers that can find it especially difficult to let workers take time out to study for even the odd day or two.


That might help. But technology, another preoccupation of the IoD report, is likely to help more. The internet is allowing new and old educational providers to experiment with ways of teaching that are better attuned to today’s working patterns.

The changes it will fashion could be evolutionary or they could blow the whole system apart and replace it with something radically different. Sir Anthony Seldon, the University of Buckingham’s reformist vice-chancellor, feels that significant change is necessary.
由此带来的变化可能是逐进的,或者也可能彻底摧毁整个系统,然后用一些截然不同的东西取而代之。身为改革派的白金汉大学校长安东尼•塞尔顿爵士(Sir Anthony Seldon)感到,有必要进行重大改变。

While we wait to see how the trend plays out, I can only hope that his institution keeps offering its masters in garden history. On the graduation day I attended, it was one of the courses where participation was most skewed towards the over-60s.

Good for them — my wife would love to follow suit when she retires from the stresses of executive life.


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