Universities where a third of students quit

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by slim, Jul 19, 2007.

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  1. (some may remember my other education related thread before but...)

    I did a Access to HE course 8 yrs ago and gained a place in the Uni of Lpool on a Computer Science degree. This was the same year that the Gov introduced tuition fees.
    Anyway, I dropped out of my degree because the Access course didnt really prepare me for my degree anyway, and considering the amount of debt I was also getting into, I soon dropped out.
    I still would of not been guaranteed a job any way even if I'd of graduated.

    I dont really think its all worth it nowadays.
  2. In the 60s,70,and 80s the fact that you had a degree would normally be a great aid to employment. However sometime in the 80s a number of Mickey Mouse degrees started to appear. These were mainly taken up by those who's UCAS scores were not good enough for real degrees. With the governments desire to retain all school leavers in the education system the numbers of worthless degrees expanded to suit. The result lots of young 20 somethings All with degrees debts and no prospects of working in their chosen field.
    Because of this a degree is now not as valuable as it once was.
    Time for a rethink.
    this country is short of:

    None of which require a degree, all of which pay well.
    Solution is more apprenticeships.

    We are also short of :

    These require university degrees, however many are reluctant to take on the debt associated with the degree.

    Doctors and nurses have all their fees returned to them on successful completion of degree. Plus pay them £20,000 to help cover any student loans. However to qualify for these concessions they must work in the NHS for a period of 7 years.

    This would help give us the doctors and dentists we are so short of.
  3. I think University is what you make of it, my degree was in Computation with Mathematics and I thoroughly enjoyed the course material and found the course to be challenging yet enjoyable. Conversely I had friends on my course that enrolled, as they "wanted a degree". Most of these people left and are now working retail/call centre jobs as they feel they weren't prepared for Uni. And they weren't there for the same reasons as myself. Most Uni's have now become degree factories, rolling out vast numbers of students who lack analytical ability and are pretty much parrots. The Government had a noble idea widening access to University this helped working class students like myself. But they should have also introduced more vocational courses for those who are intelligent, but not in an academic manner. The current shortage of skilled engineers, builders, mechanics etc. is evidence of this.

    Nice to see UMIST (University of Manchester) isn't on the list
  4. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Ding - nail hit firmly on head!

    In the old days, attending university was a matter of choice AND ability; those that went expected to work (or, as in my case, did after 1st year exam results!) and degrees had some meaning.

    My take, is that the Government had a dogmatic desire to eliminate all vestiges of elitism - university selection on ability was, to them, anathema, hence the arbitary 50% target and the proliferation of Mickey Mouse degrees.

    Why was there a drive to change the position of the 1970s/80s - a maintenance of the university / polytechnic distinction would have sufficed. Universities provided academic tuitiion while the polytechnics provided a more vocational education. Combine these with a meaningful workplace training programme, i.e. apprenticeships, and we'd have a well-trained, well-balanced workforce.

    Like the narrow-minded Ruth Kelly (in her education secretary days) you fail to recognise engineering is not a vocation, it is a profession; it requires academic study in exactly the same way as medicine or law require academic study. A professional engineer is not someone who drives a van and fixes washing machines - professional engineers form a vital element of an economy as people who understand a wide range of scientific principles and who can apply and harness them in a cost-effective manner for the wider benefit of society, (think electricity, gas, chemical, oil refining, nuclear power, ship-building, automotive design, railway signalling systems, etc). Many of the systems designed by engineers have the capability of harming life and/or the environment - do you really want such systems developed by academically challenged students from Mickey-Mouse colleges?
  5. We now have the perfect equitable university system: entry no longer depends on race, creed, sex, intelligence or ability.

    But seriously folks, when you have an education systems that requires the addition of a * to an A grade for the universty entry exams, where the prospect of failure at academic exams has been removed from the system (in my day, a pass was an A-C; D-F, N and U were scales of not pass), and where the system propels illiteracy and innumeracy by taking "good english" out of the scoring systems for exams, you get the ball of chalk we've ended up with.

    The point of universities is to be elitist: it is to take the best at academics, to enable people to explore a subject further, to learn. Schools, on the other hand, are to prepare everyone to the challenges of life by giving them a grounding in a wide selection of subjects from which to build. Some will not do so well, and some will excel. But that doesn't mean that the bar to getting into and staying on university courses should be lowered. And that doesn't mean that a university degree is any more or less respectable than a higher vocational qualification or apprenticeship.

    This is me being civil on a subject I all to easily fly off the handle about. The UK education system is a laughable failure, and most would laugh if it wasn't the future of our kids and, in turn, the future of our industrial base (and most of our pensions) that is being threatened by the ineptitude of a reactive failure of a government.
  6. I used engineering as an example as I have friends who didn't fare well at school but were able through an apprenticeship route become engineers and now have brilliant jobs. My argument in regards to more vocational courses being present is in the current system (the one I've been through - post 1992) which is appalling. Our mechanical engineering department couldn't afford materials required for my housemates final project. I agree with the points made though. When I started at UMIST (as it was then) I had peers at degree level Maths who had NO knowledge of Calculus or differentiation which was a major annoyance for myself as Uni felt like a remedial class. Being from an area with a large engineering/coal mining base I can see the damage the change in education and hence business is having on society. I'll openly admit my A-Level subjects were not as complex as those taken by father in years gone by. Education in the UK needs a total overhaul to a system what actually works.
  7. Engineering Technicians.

    Very important part of the industry, but there is a distinct difference between Eng Techs, Incorporated Engineers and Chartered Engineers, as already highlighted.

    See, the Engineering Council for a fuller explanation.

    Indeed, and part of that would be a reduction in the number of low value degrees. I'm not convinced that we, on a national basis, actually agree and understand what we expect from the education system at the moment.
  8. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Three definitions of an engineer:

    1. Someone who can do for ten bob what any fool can do for a fiver (Barnes Wallis or Neville Shute I think)

    2. Someone who washes his hands BEFORE he goes to the heads.

    3. Someone who can demolish forty beers ..
  9. The term Engineer is too often used incorrectly in industry today. Years ago to be recognised as an engineer one had to be in possession of an engineering degree. now the term is so loosely used that even a washing machine repairer is called an engineer.
    I think that this has occurred over the past 30 years or so in the name of vanity.
    Companies having difficulties employing staff often think up fancy titles to encourage applicants. some which come to mind are:

    1. Sanitary disposal operative. Dustman
    2. Hygiene Facilitator Cleaner
    3. Sales Administrator Shop assistant
    4. Human Resources Personnel Assistant

    And many more
    OK it's Lills go for it.
  10. Vision Technician - Window Cleaner
  11. My job would come under a dressed up moniker:

    Systems Security Engineer - Sitting on my arse drinking tea watching intrusion attempts.
  12. And on the subject of Engineers:
    Off topic I know.

    Understanding Engineers - Take One:

    Two engineering students were walking across a university campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"
    The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday, Minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."
    The second engineer nodded approvingly and said, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway."

    Understanding Engineers - Take Two

    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Understanding Engineers - Take Three

    A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.
    The engineer fumed, "What's with those blokes? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!"
    The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept Golf!"
    The priest said, "Here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with Him."
    He said, "Hello, George! What's wrong with that group ahead of us?
    They're rather slow, aren't they?"
    The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters.
    They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."
    The group fell silent for a moment.
    The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."
    The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them."
    The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"

    Understanding Engineers - Take Four

    What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
    Mechanical engineers build weapons and civil engineers build targets

    Understanding Engineers - Take Five

    The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?" The
    Graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The
    Graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?" The
    Graduate with an arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

    Understanding Engineers - Take Six

    Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body. One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections." The last
    one said, "No, actually it had to have been a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

    Understanding Engineers - Take Seven

    Normal people believe that if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it isn't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet.
  13. I do believe that over the last decade, a lot of students have been led into the belief that they can get a degree quite easily, possibly due to the so called drop in "A" level standards - whether this is true or not I cannot say as it's over twenty years since I took mine.
    I do know that those in my class at sixth form could all read, write (spell) and do mathematics correctly which seems to be an issue now with some students who are actually entering university! Have standards been dropped to keep the numbers of unemployed etc down, to make further education figures look better for the politicians?
    Soft option degrees should be looked at and cost breaks given to certain degrees as has been suggested earlier in this thread.
    Some people are not cut out for university education - this is not a put down it is a fact.
  14. Prospect Reclaimation.... = Skip Hire

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