Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

Bravo, Professor Laywine


At last, some evidence of academic standards.  In the aftermath of ISI’s latest demonstration that universities are failing to educate students comes word that at least one (Canadian) professor is doing something about student ignorance.  McGill University’s Alison Laywine is requiring students to demonstrate 100% proficiency in the Greek alphabet before she allows them to continue in her course on Plato.  Predictably, this objective standard (even though it is hardly difficult) has led to nervous students and declining enrollments.  Good. 

It’s perhaps a symbol of our times that a single professor upholding a rather simple academic requirement becomes international news.  But at least it’s a start.  If McGill has more professors like Laywine, we might have to change McGill’s reputation from the “Harvard of Canada” and instead note that Harvard hopes to one day become the “McGill of America.”


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