Re: NOT POLITICAL
Posted by Brickboy on October 7, 2020, 5:02 pm, in reply to "Re: NOT POLITICAL"
Not political lol. I've watched this for years. As one of the privileged few I enjoyed three years at, almost entirely, the tax payers' expense. In that time I was able to extend my knowledge across politics, history, film and psychology not to mention American studies, continental philosophy and all sorts of other very interesting but not directly English Lit related areas. I also started riding motorcycles, having read Zen and the Art (how very studenty!). And I attended the numerous bars in an attempt at Quality Assurance (I can assure you the beer was cheap, watered down but had the desired effect). In repayment, I've given thirty years service to teaching and three years of my own business, which was killed in 2007 by the recession. |
Although my Uni was frequently known as Warwick University Ltd for its greed for cash, I feel I had a fantastic opportunity and have always been very grateful.
I visited Warwick, Oxford and many other universities over the last few years looking for a suitable place for my stepson, the resident Maths genius. I also teach plenty of sixth formers.
Sadly, what I see is the corporate greed of institutions set up to get as much cash as they can from students. Hence the years of low, or open offers to students to make a uni their first choice (it's £9500 per student coming in), huge expansion of student halls - Bath, for example, is largely a student dorm - to get yet more money off them.
When I went, I left with no debts, but no credit either and worked every holiday. Now, it seems to me that being deeply in debt from the word go encourages the sheep/lamb syndrome. Why not have another couple of grand debt for those nice en suite rooms, a nice car, new laptop etc? That way lie personal financial problems in future but we have trained our children to live like this. Some might say it suits a government to have people so under the cosh they are easy to control.
When Blair said he wanted 50% of young people to have a degree he didn't mention that he meant useful degrees, just any degree seems to do. And, since half the population are not intellectually able enough to cope with the demands, standards, or courses, have had to change. So now we have a two tier system - good universities and courses and less good ones. But they cost the same. I recall reducing my lecture hours to very, very few in my third year, whilst my scientist friends spent thirty five hours in the lab. Now those courses cost the same.
One of our long-standing problems is that we refuse to equate skilled labour with graduate labour. Just look at the incredible skills TD's son has with car restoration. Those skills are both intellectual and practical but only the very best make it financially. Having started a prestigious mechanical engineering apprenticeship myself aged 16, I quickly realised it just wasn't for me. Luckily I was able to go to college and then take my subsequent career path. Our current system really doesn't allow that flexibility in either direction. Today, students are fed, 'You must go to university' - utter nonsense. What you must do is discover what you like and want to develop a skill at. I can teach you the thinking behind Shakespeare and other great writers but I can't touch type quickly, rebuild a Porsche or lay bricks to any standard. A society needs all these skills to be full and rewarding. In the lockdown who did we value most? The lower paid, of course: nurses, shop workers and delivery drivers. Who are the most important people in our lives? Well, that's a good question.
Then there is the job market. Numerous graduates working in McJobs, where their degrees are utterly unused. But the university has already got their money and student loans are at 6%!
Lastly, as you may have noticed this is an issue I do feel strongly about, the Covid crisis has laid bare the reality. Come to Uni, come at once to your hall and pay the rent. A week later you are effectively in open prison and your lectures are now all online all year - but you paid your rent before we told you that. As I explained to my stepson, why pay £9500pa to some amateur lash-up uni that's had to make its courses online in a hurry when you can sign up to the OU, who are world experts in distance learning, for two thirds of that. In my thirty years at schools I have NEVER heard the OU mentioned as an option.
In short, it's disgusting. I feel very sorry for the young people who are encouraged into debt with little advice about their future. As many have pointed out, this will become the next mis-selling scandal and then many universities will go bankrupt.
PS, if you read all this, well done, thank a teacher