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April 27, 2005

Marked down

Brad DeLong notes that British exam papers are being processed by Indian subcontractors. This has caused a bit of a stir:

[A] spokesman for the Campaign for Real Education in England said it would be a mistake for exam scripts to be sent abroad in any format…
…“I have nothing against Indians marking papers from England – many Indians speak English better than the English themselves – but the complicated logistics involved mean that the whole exercise is in danger of going disastrously wrong.”

Although information technology has been the focus of the offshoring debate, a vast amount of paper-shuffling has also been shipped to India in recent years—everything from healthcare claims to welfare-processing to tax returns. An estimated 100,000 U.S. tax returns were done in India in 2004, a number that will quadruple this year.

Given that marking exam papers is generally about as appealing as processing tax returns, I’m not convinced academia should mourn this trend.

Posted by Stephen at 9:39 PM in Education | Humanity | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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