The University Cafeteria

Cafeterias and restaurants are important in university campuses. The largest Cafeteria of the university designed for use by staff, students and visitors is generally the most visited component of a university. It is also a place where students and faculty can take their visitors for a brief coffee break or a lunch hour visit. A well-designed Central cafeteria, housed perhaps in the student center adds to functional efficiency of the university. For here, the lunch hour can be combined with a visit to the bank, post office and the book store along with a friendly exchange of words with colleagues, fellow students, visitors, staff and faculty who may be visiting the same building at the same time. Universities where such centers are not common would do well to plan for it on their campuses.

As mentioned, the ideal location for the central cafeteria of a university is the student center. The student center building containing the cafeteria, along with the administration building can easily be designed as the two largest buildings on a university campus because of their central and essential functions. Both of these buildings need to be accessed from the academic departments as well as by outsiders and vehicles. Therefore, their placement in the university in conjunction with parking areas and the university boulevard has to be incorporated in the master plan. The best location for a student center on a campus is a location close to the administration building but towards the student residential area. It must also be close to the University Boulevard and Visitors Parking area. The building needs to be surrounded by lawns and gardens containing benches for sitting.

The university cafeteria needs to be spacious not just because of the large number of its visitors but also because spacing between tables should ideally be much more than the spacing between tables in an ordinary restaurant. Students often use these tables to read or complete an assignment along with a snack, lunch or dinner. The acoustic design of a university cafeteria should be such as to minimize noise level. Using non-reflecting wall coverings and providing sections of the cafeteria that can be opened to surroundings during busy hours takes care of this need. Music may never be permitted inside a university cafeteria for the same reason. Other sound proof sections of the student center can be designed to permit music.

It may be mentioned that a university cafeteria needs to serve nutritious food at subsidized rates. Its primary clients are students, who are not earning members of society. Two different models for running such cafeterias are prevalent. In the first one, the university gives out a contract to a private caterer. In the second, the university runs its own food services department and runs the cafeteria by hiring the required staff. Both models have inherent limitations. When services are contracted out to a private caterer he gets an assured and captive clientele without having to face competition of the open market. This can, and often does lead to deterioration in the quality of food and service. Although contracts are for limited periods of time, university food contractors tend to stick on for various reasons.

On the other hand, when a university runs the cafeteria on its own, we end up with a problem similar to the problem that state enterprises face. A staff assured of employment yet unconcerned about profits can lead to a costly establishment providing a poor service. A novel solution to the problem is to provide a set of small kitchens – five or six – instead of a single large one. These kitchens are then hired out to separate caterers or restaurants serving different types of food. The maintenance and cleaning of the premises as well as billing are entrusted to staff hired by the university. A common billing clerk charges the appropriate amounts for food from different counters. The practice is to provide a plastic tray and cutlery at the entrance of the food counter enclosure. After the desired items of food are procured in the enclosure a customer proceeds for billing in much the same way as billing in a supermarket. The billing of food items is done at the exit of this enclosure. The billing done on a computer easily segregates and divides the proceeds between the different caterers. A separate counter for hot and cold beverages (requiring the least effort in preparation) is kept under the direct control of the university department. Profits from it help maintain the cafeteria.

A clause in the contract with caterers ensures that the caterer with the least cumulative sales (i.e. the least popular one) shall not have his contract renewed in the subsequent year. Poor caterers thus last for a year, while a good one can remain forever at the university. This system introduces competition amongst caterers and provides for constant improvement. The best of the caterers can be sure of long contracts, whereas the poor ones would be quickly changed. The fact that the university provides space, cutlery, utilities, and some of the staff to run the cafeteria automatically introduces a measure of subsidy that can translate into lower costs. In this competitive system, the university need not control the costs since an expensive caterer will generally not be popular with students. Some ground rules have to be specified in this food court, such as the number of items each caterer may prepare.

A campus without a good cafetaria is a barren one.

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Tuition Free College – What’s the Best Kept Secret in Education?

For many prospective college students, tuition can be a make-or-break factor in the final decision. What if there were a tuition free college? Thankfully, there are many schools around the world that do just that.

A tuition free college is able to sustain itself through government subsidiaries, thus dropping the tuition cost.

Nevertheless, there are still some costs involved in attending a tuition free university, such as room & board, books, etc. This can be covered in most cases, as many tuition free college

allow students to work while in school.

A lot of tuition free college are in Europe, where this educational scheme has a long and successful history.One example of a tuition free college is the Jonkoping International Business School. Located in Sweden, the Jonkoping International Business School is an urban university that offers degrees in informatics, economics, business administration, commercial law, and political science. Bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees are offered, and most of the classes are in English. The school is relatively small, with a total enrollment of about 2000 students, of which 25% are international students.

Just like the Jonkoping International Business School, many other tuition free college have strong English support due to the extensive number of international students. Not all of these academic establishments focus on business though. There is a wide range of degrees and programs offered around the world, including computer science, IT, and engineering degrees.

In addition, such high programs such as medical school are offered. In order to participate in a free study abroad, be aware that a list of prerequisites awaits you. First things first, any prospective student needs to contact the embassy of the host country to acquire a student visa. Secondly, make sure to check with the university regarding any entry exams or grade requirements. All in all, the ambition of attending college shouldn’t be hampered with tuition, and in the case of the many tuition free universities around the world, it doesn’t have to be.

Graduating From High School – How to Make the Transition to College Life

Transitioning from high school to college can be a scary proposition. Many students come from small, rural schools and might be shocked by the size of larger state colleges and universities. Classes meet less regularly in college than in high school, and some students might be tempted to slack off. There are many differences between the two educational levels, and new high school graduates should know about these differences before starting school in the fall to make the transition as smooth as possible.

1. You Are not Likely to Be the Big Man On Campus

High school tends to have a number of popular cliques that tend to make life miserable for those who are outside the mainstream. In college, most of the former jocks will be just ordinary students. There are cliques, known as fraternities and sororities, but at many schools, not belonging to a fraternity is no big deal. Those who were big men or women on campus will likely just be a small fish in a big pond in college. Professors will be impressed with people who can bring something to the table in class.

2. Use College as an Opportunity to Learn on the Job

Most people think that college is a time to learn about one’s inner person and expand worldviews. This can definitely be the case, but it is not impossible to get valuable real world experience at the same time. Many schools have connections that can lead to co-op jobs or internships during the summer. These summer opportunities can then be used to gain experience for life after college. Those who are really fortunate might even get hired by the company that sponsored their internship.

3. Classes Meet Less Often

Most high school classes meet on a daily basis, and students are in school every day from around 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. This totally changes in college. Students can expect to meet exactly 2.5 hours each week for a class that will give the standard 3 credit hours. These classes will usually meet for 50 minutes on three days a week or 1 hour and 15 minutes on two days of the week. Because the average course load for a student is around 12-15 credit hours, many students will find themselves with much more in the way of free time. This does not mean that video games and daytime TV talk shows should take up this extra time. Studying and research will be a much better investment in terms of time.

4. College Takes Money

Unless they are fortunate enough to get a full ride to college, many students will experience a bit of sticker shock. Most high school students go to schools that are taxpayer funded. Even those who go to private high schools will usually have their parents pay their way. This will be a big change for many new college students. There will be the temptation to borrow everything needed. A much better route would be taking a part-time job to pay for as much of college as possible. Those who party through school will owe, while those who work will be in a better financial standing.

College is definitely a major shift for those who are new high school graduates. With proper planning, the transition can be much less painless than it might otherwise be.

Reasons Why Some Colleges Do Not Permit College Freshman to Have Cars on Campus

Most universities do not permit students to have cars on campus until their sophomore year. The main reason for this is space. For instance, if at Penn State (population 50,000+) every student had a car on campus, there would be no room to move. There are some good reasons, other than space, as to why cars are not allowed on campus.

With underage drinking on the rise, it is scary to have anyone under the influence on the roads, especially in an overcrowded college town. College students are now in an environment where the only person that can tell them “no” is themselves. Feeling the need to fit in, “no” is never uttered out of a newbie’s mouth, and it makes it difficult in making the right decisions. The experimentation or what I like to call “learning their limits,” is a scary cause and effect.

Most students consume well over their tolerance. The only way to “sober up” is by waiting it out and dealing with the sometimes painful hangover the following day. Some aren’t so lucky. There have been numerous occurrences of alcohol poisoning, death or accidents caused by this type of binge drinking. We have all been through it before. We drink a bit too much, we get the spins, and then we fall down, rolling around in our own vomit saying that we will never drink again. However, what usually happens after we recover? We drink some more, but we learned our limit. “I will never drink that much again!”

This is what happens to plenty of freshmen. There are no responsibilities other than school, maybe a part time job and practice if you are a student athlete. This is one of the underlining factors on why freshmen cannot bring cars onto campus. Could you imagine if one of them got behind a wheel? It’s a thousand times safer to have them use their own feet to get around rather than a 3,000 pound hunk of steel. Universities realize this and make it a strict policy.

After scaring the wits out of parents, let me bring it down a notch. Not all freshmen go crazy and binge drink, but the influence is there and most students are smart enough to call it quits and only a small few will overstep their boundaries. Universities also believe that if the freshman have no cars, then they can’t leave, forcing them to interact with other students and to walk around campus and get a feel for the college setting, where buildings are, etc. Most universities are surrounded by stores in walking distance that meet every students needs, from food to entertainment. It’s common for universities to provide a bus or shuttle service for free or low cost all over the college town.

The only reason freshman students may need a car on campus is for special needs purposes. If you fall within this category, then go to your campus police/parking office and let them know your situation. Some will oblige without you having to do anything, but most will make you provide proof and a payment, which is an added stress a freshman student could do without.