Guest Huan-Sheng

[DRAFT]: Universal Textbook Distribution Act

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Guest Huan-Sheng

Category: Education and Creativity

Area of Effect: Educational

Proposed By: Huan-Sheng

Spoiler

The World Assembly,

 

Observing that all three sectors of agriculture, industry and services of the modern job market are becoming increasingly dependent on higher education,

 

Recognising that said higher education tends to be overly expensive in most countries, partly because of high living costs at urban college areas, and partly because of the prominence of private high education in certain nations,

 

Acknowledging that a respectable percentage of public universities do not provide their students with the necessary bibliography containing the material required to pass the examinations of the universities in question,

 

Noting that the acquisition of said bibliography by means of personal purchase, especially at the higher echelons of high education, tends to be exorbitantly expensive, disportionately so compared to all other kinds of publicly available literature,

 

Accepting the need of students to study detailed reports and articles on their classes of choice, for their use in detailed class projects or generally for their further understanding of the subject in question,

 

Observing that said reports and articles are usually either heavily restricted from the public and available only to professionals of that sector, or available at an appreciable price per article that makes the acquisition of a useful number of them unattainable,

 

Understanding that nations may prove reluctant to enforce certain demands to the private sector of education, an action that might be perceived as undermining of democracy,

 

Hereby:

 

1) Defines, for the intents and purposes of this resolution, the following terms:

  1. “Required Bibliography” as the bibliography that the professors of the universities affected by Clause 3 (thereafter referred to as simply “professors”) deem necessary for the proper understanding of their subject, and which will contain all the information that is required for a theoretical perfect examination score (thereafter referred to as “examinations”);

  2. “Endorsed Bibliography” as the bibliography that the professors deem especially beneficial for the fuller understanding of their subject, but is not strictly necessary for examinations;

  3. “Professional Database” as the grand total of all reports, articles and multimedia that concern the specific sector each university affected by Clause 2 is preparing its students for, and that are available for professionals of that sector, regardless of the form (material or digital) in which it is stored;

 

 

2) Excludes from Clause 1c) all items that would otherwise be eligible as part of the professional database but are:

  1. Classified by the affected member state, or the state that provides them;

  2. Are property of, patented by, or otherwise restricted in their public usage by, the private sector;

3) Declares that all member states are obligated to:

  1. Distribute the required bibliography to all students of the nation’s public universities (thereafter referred to as simply “students”) for free as warranted, on a per-semester basis, no less than 56 days after the beginning of each semester, with each student being eligible for exactly one (1) copy of each book of the required bibliography;

  2. Grant free, unrestricted access (but not personal purchase) to each each university’s professional database for all students of the university in question, for the duration of each student’s studies plus two (2) years;

  3. Restrict the distribution of the contents of the professional database from the students to non-authorised third parties, with the exception of specific partnership agreements between universities that authorise their members for such action.

4) Strongly encourages, but does not obligate, all member states to:

  1. Extend the effects of Clause 3 to endorsed bibliography or part of it, as deemed most beneficial, on a per-case basis, with each student being eligible for exactly one (1) copy of each book of the endorsed bibliography;

  2. Extend the effects of Clause 3 to the universities of the private education sector, through either means of legal enforcement, or financial subsidies.

 

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OK, some quick remarks from me. If necessary I might go into more details later.

First of all:

I am pretty impressed by this. This is way above what many new nations like to directly submit to the WA. You seem to have done your research regarding format and general style. It is absoluteley a good thing that you turned to the RMB first and then followed the directions here. The WA and the official forum can be a rough environment and a bit discouraging at first.

Please keep in mind that everything in the WA takes time and patience. Lots of it. It is not easy to successfully get a resolution passed. Many proposals fail to make it, however well-written they are.

Now for my blunt opinion:

I am not sure if this will be met with much approval. You encountered one direction of disapproval on the RMB. Nations that insist on their citizens directly paying for universities will just raise tuition fees and be done with it.

On the other hand I'd question if this is an internationally relevant problem that can be addressed best with this proposal. The problem only applies to certain specific types of universities. Why should every student have to own a copy of every book even though they won't need it anymore after a semester? University libraries exist (and completely cover the database aspect), as do second hand books. The predatory practice of some professors, to mandate the use of their book and make miniscule, yearly changes to it in order to force students to always buy the newest edition and make the old ones worthless, should not be supported. This proposal would actually subsidize this practice. On this basis I would oppose this proposal.

I hope this was not too discouraging. This is just a single opinion. However this draft proceeds, this is a promising start for you.

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Guest Huan-Sheng

Well first, I am happy to know the format of the proposal is correct. I mostly hoped I had done that part right.

Now, I see all your points, and honestly I actually agree with them. I was planning to adress second-hand books programs in Clause 4, in fact (somehow I forgot. Damnit brain). I was not aware of the practice of minor editing to resell copies every year was not a problem I was aware of, but in retrospect I should have expected it. As for university libraries, my personal experience with them has been... subpar, for various reasons; but it's definetely probable that I'm an outlier.

At any rate, I understand that this proposal is not as good an idea as it seems. I will probably slowly edit it, to try and see if  can cover some of your -very valid- points. And at worst cse scenario, I can just make this into an issue... in fact, it sound like it would work much better as an issue. Yeah.

PS: Btw, that's a thing you can do right? Create issues? I have seen names under some issues, so I assume you can; correct me if I'm wrong.

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13 minutes ago, Guest Huan-Sheng said:

Well first, I am happy to know the format of the proposal is correct. I mostly hoped I had done that part right.

Now, I see all your points, and honestly I actually agree with them. I was planning to adress second-hand books programs in Clause 4, in fact (somehow I forgot. Damnit brain). I was not aware of the practice of minor editing to resell copies every year was not a problem I was aware of, but in retrospect I should have expected it. As for university libraries, my personal experience with them has been... subpar, for various reasons; but it's definetely probable that I'm an outlier.

At any rate, I understand that this proposal is not as good an idea as it seems. I will probably slowly edit it, to try and see if  can cover some of your -very valid- points. And at worst cse scenario, I can just make this into an issue... in fact, it sound like it would work much better as an issue. Yeah.

PS: Btw, that's a thing you can do right? Create issues? I have seen names under some issues, so I assume you can; correct me if I'm wrong.

You can create issues once your nation reaches 50 million citizens, yes. As with proposals, it's best to draft them on the NS forums before submitting them.

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Firstly, I'd like to mirror Arotania's comments regarding the format. For a first-time author, you've got it nailed. The proposal is well-written and reads like a law. For that, well done.

However, in addition to the aforementioned comments, I question how necessary this proposal is in light of GA #78 a.k.a. Universal Library Coalition and GA #397 a.k.a. World Assembly Central Library Compact. Even if universities engage in questionable textbook practices, a vast repository of bibliography from around the world (and beyond) already exists under WA supervision.

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I agree with the other statements, but I am really proud of the language you put into it.

I think the best thing you can do with it is probably turn it into an issue, as someone who's published two issues. Go to the "Got Issues" forum and post your idea in "The Writing Block" to get the go-ahead.

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