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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:47 am 
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It seems to me that the policy of encouraging so many school leavers to go to university whether or not they possess any academic ability at all is leading to university being merely an indifferent extension to school.

When I did my law degree (some years ago !!!) less than 10% of school leavers went to university. I remember attending seminars in the first couple of weeks and expecting to find that everyone else was incredibly clever but quickly realised that this was far from the case.

In fact I would say that less than 50% of the people there should have been there. Now that nearly 50% of school leavers go to university I really do shudder to think what the standards must be like. I am afraid there simply are not that many academically able students.

To put it another way only 50% of students manage to get 5 GCSEs including maths and english - not in itself a very stunning achievement- and nearly 50% then go on to do a degree.

These figures do not actually make any sense and point to a HUGE waste of taxpayers money as well as "selling a pup" to many of the less able students who get into debt doing useless degrees of a low standard.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:12 am 
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Location: East Kent
I agree with you on this Magwich.
Like the assertion by David Blunkett that all children will be average or above :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:17 am 
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Something we agree on :)

I am sure that the standard on the top courses is still high but there are large numbers of students studying for 'University' 'Degrees' who would be much better suited to other kinds of further education & training - that wouldn't leave them with huge debts & might actually improve their job prospects.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:36 am 
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yoyo123 wrote:
Like the assertion by David Blunkett that all children will be average or above :roll:


Errm - I'm no mathematician, but even I can see the flaw in this! :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:58 am 
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shock horror ..... 50% below average.... giss a break!!!

Sent reports into college tutor on student once - described them as average... this was deemed not good enough, suggested that college tutor went back and revised their statistics....


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:09 am 
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This is also seen as far down as nursery school. When I was young, most children were 'average' at school and had 'satisfactory' reports. It has moved through 'good' and 'excellent' and now only 'outstanding' will do. There are no 'average' children now; anyone who might have been average or (shudder the thought) below average once upon a time is now thought of as having some 'specific learning needs'. This has fed into a culture where if a child is not deemed 'outstanding' then the school must be doing something wrong, or the child has a pathology which must be addressed (ADHD, ODD - love that one - etc). Not only does this falsely inflate the achievements of the majority of average people, it also masks or devalues true pathologies where they genuinely exist - dyslexia is a great example of this- because so many children are labelled from a young age.

I must be even older than you, Magwich, because when I was at university it was around 2%. I must say that I think most deserved to be there, though like you, I was scared when I first got there that I would be outboffed.

Apparently the Day of Reckoning comes for some young people now when they hit work (if they are lucky enough to do so) and are discovered to be unable to carry out tasks requiring basic literacy or numeracy. Because they have spent so long at school being told what high achievers they are, it comes as something of a shock to learn the ghastly truth: you are average!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:41 am 
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So if 21 is the new school leaving age then anyone can go to university without a single GCSE via mature entry, nice one :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:53 am 
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Also, raising the expectations of young people isn't helpful when it comes to them looking at job opportunities.
Having spent 3 years at 'University' they imagine they can walk into interesting & highly paid careers - even before the current slump there simply weren't the opportunities they had been brought up to expect.

As has been said, by definition the majority are average - academically & by every other measure! - so don't make them think being average equates with failure - if its your best then its good enough. Would be much more helpful to encourage these young people to find out where their particular strength does lie & provide the training/education to develop their employability using those talents.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:25 pm
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went to the pub last night and was dithering over the economics of wine buying.
"How much is a glass?" I asked.
They had to consult.
"£3.25 for a small [175cl] and £4.25 for a large [250cl]."
"And a bottle?"
More consultation.
"£12.99," the lad said cheerfully, "it works out a little cheaper, but not much."
"Er, no," I said, "It's actually more expensive to buy a bottle, and it's never normally that way round."
"No," he said, firmly, "There's not much in it but it is cheaper to buy a bottle."
Eventually after this had been batted to and fro a bit, the customer clearly being wrong, I spelled it all out for him, "3 times £4.25 is etc etc"
He shuffled off to ferret in the ice box with a clear "whatever" look on his face.
Yup, he's about to go back to University.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:56 pm 
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But how much was in the bottle?

I bet you needed a stiff drink after that, Milla.


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