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Dumbing down Universities


ships-cat

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University 'non-courses' attacked

Hundreds of university "non-courses" should be abolished as a waste of public money, a group campaigning for lower taxes has said. A report from the Taxpayers' Alliance highlighted 401 such courses starting this autumn in the UK, which it said cost £40m a year to run

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Some amusing examples of university courses... remember folks, these are 3-year, full-time academic courses...

Activity & Play Leadership

Advanced Practices in Beauty Therapy

Adventure Recreation

Aromatherapy and Therapeutic Bodywork

Baking Technology Management

Commercial Floral Design

And all at the British taxpayers expense :D

Meow Purr.

Edited by ships-cat
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Hmmm... did Blair take over something but the stance on Iraq?

Have the achievements for passing to university-level education been reduced too?

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Yeah well, with the manufacturing base getting shipped to China. It getting harder and harder to compete in the global economy. (ie, to get a job) :hmm:

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I'm just waiting for a fulltime course to pop up that teaches me how to fully utilize my time while consuming massive amounts of beer and doing as little at work as possible. Wait a sec I'm at work right now with a hang over doing as little as possible hmmm I think I forgot that I already took that course errr.

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Hmmm... did Blair take over something but the stance on Iraq?

Have the achievements for passing to university-level education been reduced too?

Yup Questionmark: one of Blairs 'targets' was that 50% of all schoolkids should go on to University.

Of course, 50% of schoolkids couldnt' get the necessary A Levels, so the government responded by making the A levels easier. (they deny this, but the Council of Bursars have stated that they may have to add an extra year to some Degree courses in order to make up for the academic inadequacies of the new generation of candidates).

Meow Purr.

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Yup Questionmark: one of Blairs 'targets' was that 50% of all schoolkids should go on to University.

Of course, 50% of schoolkids couldnt' get the necessary A Levels, so the government responded by making the A levels easier. (they deny this, but the Council of Bursars have stated that they may have to add an extra year to some Degree courses in order to make up for the academic inadequacies of the new generation of candidates).

Meow Purr.

And knowing how politicians tick, this is not about higher education, this is about an foreseeable unemployment wave among younger kids ... I wonder?

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And knowing how politicians tick, this is not about higher education, this is about an foreseeable unemployment wave among younger kids ... I wonder?

Wouldn't suprise me. And now, instead of jobs, they can all have degree's in Beauticianship and Baking.

Meow Purr.

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And knowing how politicians tick, this is not about higher education, this is about an foreseeable unemployment wave among younger kids ... I wonder?

Exactly, You are a voice of reason questionmark! :)

I know America is turning into a service economy. An economy of retailers, fast food workers and paper pushers.

Has the outsourcing hit the UK as hard?

Edited by Bob26003
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Yup Questionmark: one of Blairs 'targets' was that 50% of all schoolkids should go on to University.

Of course, 50% of schoolkids couldnt' get the necessary A Levels, so the government responded by making the A levels easier. (they deny this, but the Council of Bursars have stated that they may have to add an extra year to some Degree courses in order to make up for the academic inadequacies of the new generation of candidates).

Meow Purr.

This does seem to be the trend. Lower the standards in public school and screw the kids in post secondary school by adding a year to a degree program hence adding to the students debt load through student loans that are always hard to pay back. I do feel for the kids of tommorow.

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Its all about getting 50 % of the next generation into debt and forcing them into crappy jobs which they cannot leave due to the debt.

Does no-one in power realise that allowing 50 % to get onto degree courses through the dumbing down of A-levels is the equivalent of that guy in Spinal Tap having the volume on his amp going up to 11 without actually having any more volume than he would have had had it read 10.

Undergraduate degrees in the UK are a joke anyway, as long as you turn up and do most of the course work you will pass, its like an attendence degree and that is engineering I am talking about God only knows what "playtime activity" degrees are like. I teach some undergraduate courses and personally would only allow 1 in 3 I meet to be there.

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Has the outsourcing hit the UK as hard?

Depends where you look, automobile is almost completely gone, electronics not very healthy. The banking sector is very strong. Military equipment is strong and the oil industry is super-strong. Steel and derivate nothing much left... Most of the food industry is owned by Nestle...

As of right now they lack workers, which flock from other European countries to Britain. But if we talk education we are talking at least five years down the line.

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Yup Questionmark: one of Blairs 'targets' was that 50% of all schoolkids should go on to University.

Of course, 50% of schoolkids couldnt' get the necessary A Levels, so the government responded by making the A levels easier. (they deny this, but the Council of Bursars have stated that they may have to add an extra year to some Degree courses in order to make up for the academic inadequacies of the new generation of candidates).

True, the news is always complaining the tests are becoming easier and then the teaching authority make the excuse that its actually children getting smarter, but my dad (a teacher) says that they've had a report released telling schools the average thirty year old has the same maths and English-language abilities as a eleven year-old and mobile-TEXT abbreviation-style script will be accepted not be marked down in essays are incorrect grammar.

Fact is most people aren't up to University, either they aren't smart enough, just to lazy to cope with it or they can’t adapt to the stress of the deadlines - I went to University and in the first six months we lost a third of the first year. Introducing stupid courses like these isn't doing anyone any favours, just degrading the good reputation UK Universities have. Nether does it help we advertise practically useless Media Studies Degrees (only useful for anyone going into broadcasting) as legitimate degrees, and waste four years of thousands of people's lives teaching them something that absolutely no value in the real world whatsoever.

Neither does it help that thousands of University Graduates go from University into unemployment/low skilled work because of the lack of jobs. So after all that these people can't even get work at the end of it anyway. Rather than wasting time on making University easier and degrading our education system, the Government should focus on making sure there are enough jobs in this country.

And on a similar note, will god damn Scottish Executive drop the fresh-talent initiative of bringing in graduates from abroad in to fill jobs when hundreds of native graduates are unemployed and/or leaving the country because they can't find work here.

Edited by Talon
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Undergraduate degrees in the UK are a joke anyway, as long as you turn up and do most of the course work you will pass, its like an attendence degree and that is engineering I am talking about God only knows what "playtime activity" degrees are like. I teach some undergraduate courses and personally would only allow 1 in 3 I meet to be there.

Used to be different, my father paid through his nose to get me to Oxford...

But would it not sound great : I have a degree in advanced cooking from Trinity College?

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Used to be different, my father paid through his nose to get me to Oxford...

But would it not sound great : I have a degree in advanced cooking from Trinity College?

Yaaaaaay - everyone round to Questionmark's for Dinner :D

Meow Purr.

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Yup Questionmark: one of Blairs 'targets' was that 50% of all schoolkids should go on to University.

Of course, 50% of schoolkids couldnt' get the necessary A Levels, so the government responded by making the A levels easier.

I'm curious, are those the primary factor in university admissions in the UK?

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I'm curious, are those the primary factor in university admissions in the UK?

The A level, yes. Technically they are comparable to the US SAT but requires much more knowledge to obtain.

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The standard SAT is more of an aptitude test; it doesn't really require any studying beforehand. I went in cold but certainly there are plenty of people who fork over small fortunes for "test prep." These A-levels are subject tests, right? In that case, they're more like the SAT IIs (which are subject tests) or perhaps the AP tests, which cover a lot more areas than the SAT IIs. But still even with these tests, there's a lot of leeway in U.S. college admissions. How important are these A-levels?

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The standard SAT is more of an aptitude test; it doesn't really require any studying beforehand. I went in cold but certainly there are plenty of people who fork over small fortunes for "test prep." These A-levels are subject tests, right? In that case, they're more like the SAT IIs (which are subject tests) or perhaps the AP tests, which cover a lot more areas than the SAT IIs. But still even with these tests, there's a lot of leeway in U.S. college admissions. How important are these A-levels?

Without them no standard entry to universities unless you have a comparable degree/achievement award from another country. I don't know how far the non-traditional enrollments to universities are practiced in Britain (i.e. in Spain if you are older than 26 and have work experience a commission can grant you access to a university, in Germany if you successfully finished an apprenticeship and take a one year long prep course you are granted access too, etc) mind that it is 25 years ago that I finished my degrees so my information is not the most recent.

British universities select from those with an A-level. That is, your chances with a barely passing A to get into Cambridge or King's College are non-existent (unless your father is a good friend of more than half the admission commission). With lots o' dough and a good A you might get into Oxford's Colleges and so on.

ED: bad calculus...

Edited by questionmark
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Quick bit of background......

The waters have been muddied recently, but in essence:

You take a number of subjects from age 13 upwards (as I recall), each of which ends up in an O'level exam on that subject at the age of 16. These exams can be partialy supplemented by project work. The exams are a mixture of multiple-choice questions, multiple completion questions, and 'essay' type questions. They test for a mixture of memory (remembering facts) and interpretation or calculation. The exams test for an understanding of the subject, not merely regurgitation of facts.

If you pass the O'levels to an acceptable degree in a given subject (can vary slightly between schools, I believe), then you cna undertake a further two years study of that subject (up to 4 subjects) each of which culminates in an A'level exam, which are like O'levels but much harder, and possibly more geared towards analysis and understanding of the subject, with memorisation of facts being relegated somewhat. (again, this can vary depending on the subject).

There are five 'pass' grades at A level: E being the lowest, and A the highest.

On the run-up to the A'level exams, pupils can apply to universities, who in turn will stipulate what pass grades the prospective students must attain. If they fail to attain these grades, there is a 'fallback' system whereby all students who 'missed' their target grades, and all universities that still have places open, get together and mill around.

Hope that helps :)

Meow Purr.

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Quick bit of background......

The waters have been muddied recently, but in essence:

Quick question:

is there a non-traditional access to university in England?

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Quick question:

is there a non-traditional access to university in England?

Ooops - I 'cross-posted' with you there Questionmark....

I don't know. :unsure:

The universities must recognise OTHER qualifications than just A levels, otherwise foreign students wouldn't be able to attend.

Not sure how that works, to be honest.

Meow Purr.

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