PART II READING COMPREHENSION (30MIN)
In this section there are four reading passages followed by a total of 20 multiple-choice questions. Read the passages and then mark your answers on your coloured answer sheet.
The University in Transformation, edited by Australian futurists Sohail Inayatullah and Jennifer Gidley, presents some 20 highly varied outlooks on tomorrow’s universities by writers representing both Western and non-Western perspectives.Their essays raise a broad range of issues,questioning nearly every key assumption we have about higher education today.
The most widely discussed alternative to the traditional campus is the Internet University—a voluntary community to scholars/teachers physically scattered throughout a country or around the world but all linked in cyberspace.A computerized university could have many advantages,such as easy scheduling,efficient delivery of lectures to thousands or even millions of students at once,and ready access for students everywhere to the resources of all the world’s great libraries.
Yet the Internet University poses dangers,too.For example,a line of franchised courseware,produced by a few superstar teachers,marketed under the brand name of a famous institution,and heavily advertised,might eventually come to dominate the global education market,warns sociology professor Peter Manicas of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.Besides enforcing a rigidly standardized curriculum,such a“college education in a box”could undersell the offerings of many traditional brick and mortar institutions,effectively driving them out of business and throwing thousands of career academics out of work,note Australian communications professors David Rooney and Greg Hearn.
On the other hand,while global connectivity seems highly likely to play some significant role in future higher education,that does not mean greater uniformity in course content—or other dangers—will necessarily follow.Counter-movements are also at work.
Many in academia,including scholars contributing to this volume,are questioning the fundamental mission of university education.What if,for instance,instead of receiving primarily technical training and building their individual careers,university students and professors could focus their learning and research efforts on existing problems in their local communities and the world? Feminist scholar Ivana Milojevic dares to dream what a university might become“if we believed that childcare workers and teachers in early childhood education should be one of the highest (rather than lowest) paid professionals?”
Co-editor Jennifer Gidley shows how tomorrows university faculty,instead of giving lectures and conducting independent research,may take on three new roles.Some would act as brokers,assembling customized degree-credit programmes for individual students by mixing and matching the best course offerings available from institutions all around the world.A second group,mentors,would function much like today’s faculty advisers,but are likely to be working with many more students outside their own academic specialty.This would require them to constantly be learning from their students as well as instructing them.
A third new role for faculty,and in Gidley’s view the most challenging and rewarding of all,would be as meaning-makers: charismatic sages and practitioners leading groups of students/colleagues in collaborative efforts to find spiritual as well as rational and technological solutions to specific real-world problems.
Moreover,there seems little reason to suppose that any one form of university must necessarily drive out all other options.Students may be“enrolled”in courses offered at virtual campuses on the Internet,between—or even during—sessions at a realworld problemfocused institution.
As co-editor Sohail Inayatullah points out in his introduction,no future is inevitable,and the very act of imagining and thinking through alternative possibilities can directly affect how thoughtfully,creatively and urgently even a dominant technology is adapted and applied.Even in academia,the future belongs to those who care enough to work their visions into practical,sustainable realities.
11. When the book reviewer discusses the Internet University,
[A] he is in favour of it. [B] his view is balanced.
[C] he is slightly critical of it.[D] he is strongly critical of it.
12. Which of the following is NOT seen as a potential danger of the Internet University?
[A] Internetbased courses may be less costly than traditional ones.
[B] Teachers in traditional institutions may lose their jobs.
[C] Internetbased courseware may lack variety in course content.
[D] The Internet University may produce teachers with a lot of publicity.
13. According to the review,what is the fundamental mission of traditional university education?
[A] Knowledge learning and career building.
[B] Learning how to solve existing social problems.
[C] Researching into solutions to current world problems.
[D] Combining research efforts of teachers and students in learning.
14. Judging from the three new roles envisioned for tomorrows university faculty,university teachers
[A] are required to conduct more independent research.
[B] are required to offer more courses to their students.
[C] are supposed to assume more demanding duties.
[D] are supposed to supervise more students in their specialty.
15. Which category of writing does the review belong to?
[A] Narration. [B] Description.[C] Persuasion. [D] Exposition.
Every street had a story, every building a memory. Those blessed with wonderful childhoods can drive the streets of their hometowns and happily roll back the years. The rest are pulled home by duty and leave as soon as possible. After Ray Atlee had been in Clanton (his hometown) for fifteen minutes he was anxious to get out.
The town had changed,but then it hadn’t.On the highways leading in,the cheap metal buildings and mobile homes were gathering as tightly as possible next to the roads for maximum visibility.This town had no zoning whatsoever.A landowner could build anything with no permit,no inspection,no notice to adjoining landowners,nothing.Only hog farms and nuclear reactors required approvals and paperwork.The result was a slash-and-build clutter that got uglier by the year.
But in the older sections,nearer the square,the town had not changed at all.The long shaded streets were as clean and neat as when Ray roamed them on his bike.Most of the houses were still owned by people he knew,or if those folks had passed on the new owners kept the lawns clipped and the shutters painted.Only a few were being neglected.A handful had been abandoned.
This deep in Bible country,it was still an unwritten rule in the town that little was done on Sundays except go to church,sit on porches,visit neighbours,rest and relax the way God intended.
It was cloudy,quite cool for May,and as he toured his old turf,killing time until the appointed hour for the family meeting,he tried to dwell on the good memories from Clanton.There was Dizzy Dean Park where he had played Little League for the Pirates,and there was the public pool he’d swum in every summer except 1969 when the city closed it rather than admit black children.There were the churches—Baptist,Methodist,and Presbyterian—facing each other at the intersection of Second and Elm like wary sentries,their steeples competing for height.They were empty now,but in an hour or so the more faithful would gather for evening services.
The square was as lifeless as the streets leading to it.With eight thousand people,Clanton was just large enough to have attracted the discount stores that had wiped out so many small towns.But here the people had been faithful to their downtown merchants,and there wasn’t a single empty or boarded-up building around the square—no small miracle.The retail shops were mixed in with the banks and law offices and cafes, all closed for the Sabbath.
He inched through the cemetery and surveyed the Atlee section in the old part, where the tombstones were grander.Some of his ancestors had built monuments for their dead.Ray had always assumed that the family money he’d never seen must have been buried in those graves.He parked and walked to his mother’s grave,something he hadn’t done in years.She was buried among the Atlees,at the far edge of the family plot because she had barely belonged.
Soon,in less than an hour,he would be sitting in his father’s study,sipping bad instant tea and receiving instructions on exactly how his father would be laid to rest.Many orders were about to be given,many decrees and directions,because his father (who used to be a judge) was a great man and cared deeply about how he was to be remembered.
Moving again, Ray passed the water tower he’d climbed twice,the second time with the police waiting below.He grimaced at his old high school,a place he’d never visited since he’d left it.Behind it was the football field where his brother Forrest had romped over opponents and almost became famous before getting bounced off the team.
It was twenty minutes before five, Sunday, May 7. Time for the family meeting.
16. From the first paragraph, we get the impression that
[A] Ray cherished his childhood memories.
[B] Ray had something urgent to take care of.
[C] Ray may not have a happy childhood.
[D] Ray cannot remember his childhood days.
17. Which of the following adjectives does NOT describe Ray’s hometown?
[A] Lifeless. [B] Religious. [C] Traditional. [D] Quiet.
18. From the passage we can infer that the relationship between Ray and his parents was
[A] close.[B] remote.[C] tense.[D] impossible to tell.
19. It can be inferred from the passage that Ray’s father was all EXCEPT
[A] considerate. [B] punctual. [C] thrifty. [D] dominant.