Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Higher education

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WikiProject Higher education (Rated Project-class)
This page is within the scope of WikiProject Higher education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of higher education, universities and colleges on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Things To Do
  1. Work on articles that need cleanup. A randomized short list is here
  2. Work on the collaborations of the month
  3. Create a page for each and every university and college and add {{infobox University}} for it. See the missing list for those institutions still awaiting articles.
  4. Place {{WikiProject Higher education}} on every related talk page.
  5. Ensure all articles, including Featured articles, are consistent with the article guidelines.

How to refer to semesters?Edit

Many institutions that operate on a semester system designate them by referring to seasons, e.g. "Fall 2019" or "Spring 2020", and I've seen a bunch of articles with text like the college enrolled 7,400 students as of Fall 2020. I have a few questions:

  1. Is it okay to use seasons at all, given that MOS:SEASON advises against using seasons to refer to a particular time of year because of the ambiguity of the hemispheres, but allows it when it is part of a formal or conventional name or designation.
  2. If it is okay, should "Fall" and "Spring" be capitalized? Per MOS:SEASON, they normally aren't, but if semesters are considered formal periods, they might be. Amherst's style guide recommends it, FWIW.

Thoughts? I'll invite the MOS folks over here for their input. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 07:22, 21 December 2020 (UTC)

  • I'd say that it is okay to use "fall" in this context as it is referring to the fall semester at a US institution. I would say it would be more in keeping with Wikipedia style not to capitalise – fall semester is a formal period but is still a generic name, like president, rather than a formal title like President of the United States. Robminchin (talk) 07:55, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
  • You have said "many institutions" but have not qualified it with whether you are talking in a world-wide context or a specific country. In Australia, we always called them term 1/2/3/4 (for primary and secondary schools) or semester 1/2 (for universities). And of course, if we did refer to a season it would be "autumn" instead of the American "fall". Looking at Academic term, most of the world names the terms and semesters similar to Australia. If season names are allowed then it must be very clear that it is an American thing and not a world-wide thing.  Stepho  talk  23:58, 21 December 2020 (UTC)
I'm perfectly fine with us adhering to different standards for institutions in different countries. In the U.S., it's nearly universal for semesters or quarters to be labeled with the prevalent season e.g., winter, spring, summer, or fall. I don't think the capitalization matters so we should follow whatever our own internal styleguide says (which I think is "use lower-case" as Sdkb and Robminchin note above). It might be good to get some expert guidance from editors who frequent WT:MOS or a more specific part of the MOS to verify that we're on the right track. ElKevbo (talk) 00:31, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
  • Quickly following up, a good solution that didn't occur to me until it was pointed out is just writing "as of the fall 2020 semester" instead of "as of fall 2020". {{u|Sdkb}}talk 13:15, 4 January 2021 (UTC)
  • BTW. Our CS1/CS2 citation templates support seasons and quarters when given in uppercase, like:
  • Title. Spring 2020.
  • Title. First Quarter 2020.
Semesters are not supported yet, but could be easily added on request.
--Matthiaspaul (talk) 04:06, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

Updating showcase articlesEdit

Shadowssettle recently made an attempt to update the showcase articles on our project page. Some of the additions didn't seem ready for primetime and I think that any addition to the section should be discussed, so I reverted for now, but I appreciate the opportunity to discuss and hopefully update the selection.

I think we should begin by making sure we're on the same page about what this section is for. The subsection is titled "National differences", but de facto the role it serves is that of a showcase, i.e. "if you're looking for an example of a high-quality page to model off of for a page you're trying to improve, look to these pages". To best serve that role, we need some variation in geographic region, but within limits: if one is trying to improve an article for a country that has no strong FA articles, it makes more sense to look to FAs elsewhere than to whatever the best university page is in that country. It also means that we should have variation in type of school, and in type of page (e.g. some subpages for history/campus/alumni/etc.). I also think we should be using GAs only sparingly when we have no featured pages in a category, as really showcase status ought to be only featured pages in top shape.

Okay, getting into specifics, we currently have six pages for the UK, four for the U.S., and one for India. There's one history page (Texas A&M) and one page for a campus feature (The Green at Dartmouth), but that's it.

I haven't surveyed institution pages well enough to know whether or not the selected ones are our best.

For a history page, History of Texas A&M University seems our only featured option.

For a campus page, we have no FAs. It looks like Campus of Michigan State University and Campus of University of the Philippines Los Baños are our two GA options.

For a campus organization page, Jesus College Boat Club (Oxford) looks like our only featured option. I'm not sure how representative it is, but I don't think we have any FAs for a student government or student newspaper.

For a campus feature/building page, if we want to replace The Green (Dartmouth College) it looks like we have Tech Tower and a few other featured options.

If we want to add a traditions page, the best option we seem to have is Traditions of Texas A&M University, a GA.

For a people list page, I'd put forward List of Pomona College people, which I recently brought to FL status. I looked through the other FL people list pages as I worked on that one, and frankly I doubt any of them could currently survive a FLRC without extensive edits.

For a geographic list page, e.g. List of colleges and universities in Alabama (just the first alphabetically), there are a bunch of options. Any thoughts on which is our best or most useful as a model?

Am I missing any major categories? These are obviously a little tilted toward the U.S., but honestly I think it'll be most useful for people if we surface our best pages, even if they're geographically clustered. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 17:50, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Oh, an athletics page might be another category we'd want to highlight. Anyone know what our best options for that might be?
And once we decide on which pages we're selecting, we should make sure they're all tagged on their talk page with {{Model article}}. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 18:04, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
ElKevbo Do you have any thoughts on this? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 15:29, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
I like your recommendations and trust your judgment. ElKevbo (talk) 16:13, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Sdkb I'm not too fussed by the order or what exactly, just that they are all GAs/FAs. If you look at the UK ones, they were selected to show the range of article coverage someone should head towards as they were all GA+ at time of making the original list:
  • A unitary university
  • A collegiate university
    • A college
  • A London institution
  • An ancient university
    • An ancient college
Shadowssettle Need a word? 15:52, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
It would be good to have a modern (post-1992) university example for the UK as well, if any have GA+ articles. Robminchin (talk) 23:08, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
The list should not be dominated by any one country. ElKevbo (talk) 23:30, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
Looking at the UK articles, they're all GAs (and old ones at that), except for Oriel College, Oxford, which is an FA but looks to be about to undergo an FAR, a process that it's unlikely to survive without a concerted effort to save it. (The University of Michigan, arguably our biggest FA, recently lost its star with zero such effort.) {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:24, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
I agree it shouldn't be dominated by any one country; I was pointing out that this is a significant type of UK university that wasn't represented in the list given. I suspect it will be unavoidable that most examples are from English speaking countries, but I think it would be better to add universities from other countries than to miss out major categories of university. However, it looks, as I suspected, that none of the articles on post-1992 universities are rated as particularly high quality. Robminchin (talk) 03:03, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
The point was not to try to make this UK-centric, just explaining why we have the current selection we have from there; that there was some order to it. It may make sense to trim it, but I don't currently see the need. I think the underlying point, that showcase articles should show a variety of types, is helpful to guide article writing, given an article on an ancient/Ivy-League/collegiate/etc. university or a college might need to cover different points to one on a modern or a unitary university. Also, I would add {{model article|Higher education}} should probably be added to those on the final list, as it is already on Oriel–Oxford. Shadowssettle Need a word? 11:33, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
Oops, I see Sdkb has already made the point on {{model article|Higher education}}, sorry Shadowssettle Need a word? 11:34, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

Assistance requested at Oregon State UniversityEdit

Can some other editors please help by watching Oregon State University? An unregistered editor is edit warring to remove "land-grant" from the lede of the article and insisting that the lede include a reference to www.bestcollegereviews.org, a site that is clearly unreliable. He or she is claiming that articles about other land-grant universities don't have this in their lede sentences - a claim that is clearly false except possibly a few articles that have mistakenly omitted it and will be corrected as soon as they're identified - as well as refusing to participated in the discussion in the article's Talk page. Thanks! ElKevbo (talk) 04:07, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

Help with DeVry UniversityEdit

I’ve made a number of proposals to improve the article about DeVry University at Talk:DeVry University#Request Edits February 2021. I can’t implement these myself since I have a conflict of interest. Could someone in the project take a look at the requests? Thanks NaturaRagazza (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2021 (UTC)

FAR Michigan State UniversityEdit

I have nominated Michigan State University for a featured article review here. Please join the discussion on whether this article meets featured article criteria. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. If substantial concerns are not addressed during the review period, the article will be moved to the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Delist" the article's featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. FemkeMilene (talk) 07:58, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Welp. Barring something unexpected, looks like we're headed for another delisting. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 09:15, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Linking biographies in names of buildings, etc.Edit

I'm not quite sure how to handle edits like this one from Caius G., which wikilinked George C. S. Benson within George C. S. Benson Auditorium. On the one hand, this goes fairly clearly against MOS:PARTIALNAMELINK, so I don't think we're allowed to. However, since the auditorium would not be notable for a standalone page, we're not able to link George C. S. Benson Auditorium and then link to Mr. Benson from there, and writing George C. S. Benson Auditorium, named after George C. S. Benson at Pitzer's page would be both redundant and WP:UNDUE (universities love to bring up donors whenever they can, but we don't have to follow their lead), so I don't know of any other way to introduce the link. I don't want to see it totally removed, either, though, since it seems useful. How should we resolve situations like this? {{u|Sdkb}}talk 00:16, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

It does seem that the partial looking is wrong. Possibly it could be made less redundant by re-wording, e.g. "The George C. S. Benson Auditorium, named after the local academic and administrator,…" Robminchin (talk) 04:14, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi Sdkb. Thanks for raising the issue, I wasn't aware of WP:PARTIALNAMELINK. Robminchin's suggestion seems good, I'll implement it later today. I'm not too worried about WP:UNDUE, as Benson played an important part in the College's founding (although his article doesn't mention it yet). Best, Caius G. (talk) 07:54, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Here you go. Best, Caius G. (talk) 17:17, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Assistance needed at University of the PeopleEdit

Assistance is requested at University of the People. It has become a very contentious article with multiple single-purpose accounts, several recent semi-protections, and one editor blocked from editing the article. Editors disagree on many subjects and edits are routinely made and reverted with little regard for the discussion in Talk or prevailing Wikipedia policies and practices. Personally, I am completely frustrated with the lack of support from Wikipedia administrators so I am removing the article from my watchlist. As it stands, my best guess is that the article and its editors are headed toward arbitration but perhaps a few level-headed, experienced editors can salvage things. ElKevbo (talk) 17:13, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

I agree. We need uninvolved experienced editors to help out because I believe arbitration is probably the next stop. Weatherextremes (talk) 11:16, 20 February 2021 (UTC)

Notability of extracurricular organizationsEdit

Since watchlisting Wikipedia:WikiProject Deletion sorting/News media with an eye toward student publications, I've seen quite a few student newspapers come through. I'd like to open a broader discussion about notability of college extracurricular organizations to get a better sense of how folks feel about these pages.

Beyond newspapers, the college organizations that tend to have pages are often student governments or arts organizations (e.g. theater groups). The quality of the pages varies widely, but their notability is often in a similar spot: as the oldest/largest clubs at their institution, they have a documented history, but the sources are mainly/all affiliated enough with the institution to raise some questions. They'd likely pass a charitable application of GNG, but probably not a strict application of WP:NORG.

This might just be a more specific way of invoking the age-old inclusionist vs. deletionist debate, but I'm curious whether you think we ought to be trying to focus on bolstering the sourcing for these pages to preserve them, or AfDing them to clear them out and redirect editor attention toward institution pages. Personally, I think applying NORG can sometimes be a little overly harsh, since that standard is designed to combat commercial promotionalism, and beyond the vanity of appearing on Wikipedia (which applies to just about everything), most college orgs don't really have a commercial interest in having a page, so I don't think we need to police them quite as stringently. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 08:28, 3 March 2021 (UTC)

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