Campus was taken over last week by delegates from the Université de Ouargla, Algeria as they learned different styles and techniques of teaching. A total of eight professors represented the faculty consisting of business professionals and administration, including a translator as nobody from the team could speak English fluently. Mainly from the finance and accounting faculty.
These delegates were able to come sit in on Professor Gary Gibbons’s Entrepreneurial Financing and Forecasting class. Student Sangeetha Nagaratnam commented that “Professor Gibbons explained how the teaching material is broken up and what are the students expected to get out of the class. He emphasized that it a non-public finance course taught in an entrepreneurship way. He stressed that ‘We want students to be able to cope with ambiguity, skill and judgement, application of pure theory does not make good finance people. We want students to be critical of theory – question things.’ He further explained that although finance theory – as a discipline focusses on risk as a diversifiable, entrepreneurs risk cannot be diversified away.”
The students noticed similar techniques, they felt that students were strong on both technique and theory. The method of asking students to present is also practiced in their university. They pointed out that our class size in Thunderbird is much smaller. They also were fascinated with the flexibility in the classroom – students can eat and drink and yet concentrate and participate actively in class. It became an inspiring experience for both the Algerian faculty and Thunderbirds alike!