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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Education for the Masses

University students are going to strike this week to show what campuses will look like if the government continue to put up tuition fees.

University students have been protesting for as long as I can remember and before. A large group of young people is always going to have a political element. They will also probably be as close to socialist in their views as they will ever be. Idealism is the badge of students. With their whole life before them why should they not think they can change the world. Every generation believes this but I suspect the vast majority end up in no better or worse place than their parents, living in a world that just repeats it's triumphs and disasters over and over again.

The big difference this time ought to be that there are many more students out on strike. With the political push that everyone should have the opportunity to go to university, and by renaming all the colleges to their senior counterpart, there should be 10 times the number of students not bothering to get out of bed picketing.

I think the education system as a whole has lost it's way, although there are encouraging signs that at infant/primary level they are returning to the old skills of learning the alphabet and multiplication tables. They say that the education system has not been dumbed down but there is no way that the pass rate of GCSE and A levels hasn't been dropped to increase pass rates. I have had this argument with my brother for some time. He believes that it is just different but still as hard. If that was the case then the "real" universities wouldn't be re-testing people for admission. Some of the university lecturers we know are tearing their hair out as students turn up to take degrees without the knowledge to begin, and crash courses need to be run to get them up to level.

Nothing will change now though. Who is going to reduce the number of university places. How wonderful is it that your children can go to university now when before they would have done the same course in the same building but only have gone to college.

I wish we could go back to a system where the academic went to University, the mainstream go to college and those who have struggled academically go to technical college or art/music colleges where they can be taught useful skills or to evolve their artistic skills. No-one is made intelligent by the fact they can attend a university rather than a college but lives are ruined by taking the colleges away from the less academic and putting nothing in it's place.

1 Comments:

  • Very well said. Especially your last paragraph. I went to Art College since I am not academic. I do think you are right saying that academics should go to university. So many students do 'media studies' then fail to get a job in the media.

    By Blogger Toffeeapple, At 5:09 PM  

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