We should shut down the lower ranked universities and bull courses - debate Watch

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We are bought up to think those who to go university will be better than off than those who don't go. This comes from colleges pressuring students to achieve As right down to primary school teachers telling kids achieving a Level 6 in Maths is significant in their life. Somehow we have become brainwashed.

I know some people who are interested in their course. However most of the people I know are simply doing a subject because its the best A-level they do and going to university because its the next step. People will research their preferred university and work hard towards their grade. However... This does not mean these people know what they want to do in life. Its expected people should know... Teachers, parents and who ever else always ask 'what do you want to do'? There is pressure everywhere... At the age of 18 you should know what you want to do and get a degree so you can get a job related to that.

Those who do BTECs are assumed to be 'stupid' so people don't like doing them because they don't want the stigma.

People could leave college and get a job. But the question is... This is never an option. At least it doesn't feel like an option. At college we HAVE to apply to UCAS because 'we might change our minds' then we hear stories from teachers about pupils changing their mind to back up the statement.

Most people before going to university have no real idea of what job they want and after leaving most people still have no real idea or know they don't want a job related to what they studied. At least this is what I've seen.

For example I have a friend who wants to study Law at university to become a lawyer. Has my friend ever experienced working in a law firm? No. People simply learn the theory behind subjects and think they will enjoy it... Whether they will or not is a completely different matter. Some people at this age will know what they want to do for the rest of their lives and I'm not saying that if you've never experienced your future job you won't enjoy it... I'm saying... How can you know what you want to do at 18?

The people that say 'lower ranking' universities should be demolished and what not... If a person works the hardest they can work and go to lets say Edge Hill, why is that bad? In the real world there are cleaners, is this bad? A university is a university, not everyone can achieve As and not everyone wants to go to Oxbridge or RG universities.

Also. People need to be properly educated about their future. Things will always exist if people continue to use them. People can blame an individual for wasting their time and studying lets say Film studies... But ask yourself why is that person studying that? The answer... Everyone wants what is best for them self.

Think about it this way... You might think a certain university is useless or a certain degree is useless. Equally you might think studying Maths at Cambridge is the highest achievement. None of this means it will lead a 'good' job. No one thinks 'in 10 years time I see myself in a dead end job with no career prospects and the degree I did was a complete waste of time'. No one thinks that whether they're going to Edge Hill or Cambridge.

People want what is the best for them. If they've been told left right and centre that going to university is better than not going... People will go because quite frankly if they don't do that, what else are they going to do? There is no real guidance on what to do next, so people will simply apply to any course for the sake of doing it.

It is assumed after university you will have a better idea. Whether you will or not is a different matter altogether.

No one can say what is the best. Some people will say Edge Hill is rubbish... Someone I know went there to do teaching and is a now a teacher and at the age of 25 bought her own house. Someone with a degree and masters is now earning far less with no real job advancement and no house. However, does that show that the person who went to Edge Hill is better off? Maybe. It all depends on what you want and you see things.

People on this thread will be the first to say people should do vocational courses. Well, of course its very easy for them to say that when they can achieve As at A-level or have achieved it. Had it have been you in that position, had you have wanted to go to university... Then what? I speak from experience... Things can change at any moment. You can be on a grade A and the next minute your on a grade D. Is it fair to simply say x university isn't 'good enough' according to the league table so shut it down? Had that have been you in that position who would have wanted to go to that university, how would you feel? You'll never truly know what it feels like until is happens to you.

Going to a 'higher ranking university' does not mean that much. It means something but not as much as people on here go about.
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>Username<
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(Original post by Mr.AZ)

If a university was really bad by definition, it would have closed down by now.

AZ
I second this.
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aceySnicks_x
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(Original post by Smack)
I would say that, for obvious reasons, UEA is better known in England whereas Heriot Watt is better known in Scotland.

Heriot Watt is very well respected in Scotland and is very well targeted by large (and small) employers throughout the country, from finance to oil, so with a degree from Heriot Watt you can certainly go far.
Thank you...unable to decide I chose both and swapped Keele with UEA...hopefully that is a good choice and I get offers :'O!
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AdamskiUK
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You don't need to shut down the 'bad universities', just the useless courses.

York SJ and Sheffield Hallam are pretty 'awful' universities but still produce some excellent graduates. The problem is what many graduate in. Many graduates with degrees that are essentially worthless/shouldn't have degree status cost the taxpayer money and don't lend anything to the their employability, especially when they're entirely disinterested and end up with a 2:2. They haven't developed research/course-related skills because they've spent the time doing what they believe uni is there to do. They get drunk, eat kebabs and get drunk some more. This isn't a bad thing, but it's the primary stigma/stereotype of universities and their students.

You don't *need* a 'degree' in Dance or Archeology or (even) Paramedicine. You don't *NEED* to call it a BA or a BSc. You can train an excellent paramedic or dancer through vocational/college-based courses, without the need of a lecturer or funding the individual's accommodation via subsidised housing. People hate this idea of 'neglecting' the desires of others, but there is no necessity to train these people at such a huge expense to society. If an archeologist is interested in the facets of his/her subject then they should be invited to read around it. They don't need to be told through a university course. Vocational training for a paramedic involves more experience and, when coupled with time in lessons, produces a well-balanced paramedic with a competent scientific knowledge that is applicable to their role.

People forget that the working class and the typical roles that result from vocational training are the essential pillars of society. We can't function without binmen, cleaners or plumbers. We once had a manufacturing industry which provided jobs for so many people - not just factory work but also senior managerial roles. My father's family based themselves (and some of them still do) around this type of work and it made them enough to survive. People are so caught up now with getting enough money to afford the latest stuff that they forget that somebody has to do the menial tasks. Our societal idea that everybody has the 'right' to an amazing standard of living can't work in the long-term. Not every electrician can have a 60" OLED 4k TV. The socialist society we live in today encourages the idea that rich people/middle-class people are *EVIL* for wanting these items and that they shouldn't be allowed it without being taxed so that the poorer people can have their huge TVs, £2000 beds, £2000 Macbooks etc etc.

At the end of the day, when I go to Uni I'll get 3.5k loan. A friend of mine who gets by just fine as one of his parents doesn't work and just sells bits-and-bats on eBay will get as much as 7k, with a lot of that being given to him free as a bursary. He also gets other means-tested bursaries. He intends to buy a brand-new Macbook Pro with all this money that he doesn't need, but might as well because he won't spend this bursary money on anything else. His parents can cover what he needs at the end of the day, especially if he stays local. This isn't fraudulent. According to the stupid governmental bodies in charge (primarily Labour who imposed this stuff) this is his God-given right and my parents who struggle to keep this house's mortgage payments going should cover it all. I suppose we should move out of our 5-bedroomed house to accommodate his Macbook?

This topic is so varied and wide but essentially I believe that this socialist idea that everybody has the 'right' to a university education *can't* work and *will* stop in the near future. The evils of the communist state which are currently seeping in are ne'erending.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by AdamskiUK)
You don't need to shut down the 'bad universities', just the useless courses.

York SJ and Sheffield Hallam are pretty 'awful' universities but still produce some excellent graduates. The problem is what many graduate in. Many graduates with degrees that are essentially worthless/shouldn't have degree status cost the taxpayer money and don't lend anything to the their employability, especially when they're entirely disinterested and end up with a 2:2. They haven't developed research/course-related skills because they've spent the time doing what they believe uni is there to do. They get drunk, eat kebabs and get drunk some more. This isn't a bad thing, but it's the primary stigma/stereotype of universities and their students.

You don't *need* a 'degree' in Dance or Archeology or (even) Paramedicine. You don't *NEED* to call it a BA or a BSc. You can train an excellent paramedic or dancer through vocational/college-based courses, without the need of a lecturer or funding the individual's accommodation via subsidised housing. People hate this idea of 'neglecting' the desires of others, but there is no necessity to train these people at such a huge expense to society. If an archeologist is interested in the facets of his/her subject then they should be invited to read around it. They don't need to be told through a university course. Vocational training for a paramedic involves more experience and, when coupled with time in lessons, produces a well-balanced paramedic with a competent scientific knowledge that is applicable to their role.

Unless these people are willing to shoulder the costs of their 'degrees', then I believe they should be discontinued.
Traditionally you did not need a degree to practice medicine in this country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjoint ad this continued until 2007.

Until the mid 1970s most solicitors qualifying were "five year men" and were not graduates. Although most barristers probably were graduates, there was certainly no requirement fro them to be.

From 1660 until the mid 19th century virtually all Church of England clergymen were graduates but non-conformist clergy could not be English graduates. From then onwards training colleges were established to enable non-graduates to become CoE clergy.

Many famous engineers were not graduates; Mitchell who designed the Spitfire, Gresley who built Mallard and into modern times Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame (he did study furniture design).

It is only in the 1960s, that most newly qualified teachers became graduates.

So, what are these careers where you "need" to be a graduate?
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Spaghetti
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God this place is a cesspit sometimes

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River85
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Many famous engineers were not graduates; Mitchell who designed the Spitfire, Gresley who built Mallard and into modern times Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame (he did study furniture design).
To be fair, James Dyson is an industrial designer more than an engineer.

George Stephenson would have been a better example, unless that's going too far back in time. Born to illiterate parents, he was illiterate himself until his late teens.
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Smack
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Even in modern times though a lot of recent engineering graduates, who now typically have a masters degree, find themselves being mentored by being who only have a bachelors degree, who are in turn managed by people who have no degree.
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Klix88
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(Original post by >Username<)
People could leave college and get a job. But the question is... This is never an option. At least it doesn't feel like an option.
In reality, it may not be an option. The problem is that there aren't enough entry-level jobs (or vocational training) for school/college leavers to go into, and there haven't been for many years now. The Labour government understood this and encouraged as many people as possible into university as it kept the unemployment stats down. Essentially, universities became a holding pen for the 18-21 year old bracket. Not saying this is a good thing - university attendance became a convenience for the State, dressed up as an advantage for young people.

The Tory government capped university student numbers and started out encouraging people into vocational courses or training. The problem is, as they're finding, these didn't exist and are very difficult to set up (look at any of their NEET stats and the failures of work/training schemes set up to deal with this issue). If you want apprenticeships, you have to pay to set them up. Thus they saw an increase in youth unemployment and are now panicking and removing the universities' cap on numbers to get more people back to uni and get the unemployment stats back down.

No easy answers.
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AdamskiUK
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
Traditionally you did not need a degree to practice medicine in this country.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjoint ad this continued until 2007.

Until the mid 1970s most solicitors qualifying were "five year men" and were not graduates. Although most barristers probably were graduates, there was certainly no requirement fro them to be.

From 1660 until the mid 19th century virtually all Church of England clergymen were graduates but non-conformist clergy could not be English graduates. From then onwards training colleges were established to enable non-graduates to become CoE clergy.

Many famous engineers were not graduates; Mitchell who designed the Spitfire, Gresley who built Mallard and into modern times Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame (he did study furniture design).

It is only in the 1960s, that most newly qualified teachers became graduates.

So, what are these careers where you "need" to be a graduate?
Careers which require an intricate academic understanding of various synoptic elements related to the course. Degrees in which personal reading is impractical due to the extent of knowledge required for modern-day practice.

Medicine being one of them! You've given me am excellent historical context to all these careers yet take no account of why we've turned them into degree-requiring subjects. The sheer scale and enhancement in some fields would be difficult to standardise and teach without degree programmes. Medics need a wide variety of knowledge that is so dynamic that curriculi can change on the fly.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by AdamskiUK)
Careers which require an intricate academic understanding of various synoptic elements related to the course. Degrees in which personal reading is impractical due to the extent of knowledge required for modern-day practice.

Medicine being one of them! You've given me am excellent historical context to all these careers yet take no account of why we've turned them into degree-requiring subjects. The sheer scale and enhancement in some fields would be difficult to standardise and teach without degree programmes. Medics need a wide variety of knowledge that is so dynamic that curriculi can change on the fly.
I think there are three criticisms of your approach.

Firstly until the creation of a lot of modern vocational subjects in the last few years, from the renaissance onwards, universities were about guided independent reading. Therefore to say that any subject is not worthy or suitable for study at a university because it can be studied independently is a refusal to accept the last 500 years of history.

Secondly, whilst I think one can fairly draw a distinction between careers where a body of academic knowledge is required and those where it is not and "sitting by Nellie" is the best method of training, I think you give the game away in your earlier post where you refer to "college-based courses". The method of training isn't any different if one sits in a college or a university. What you wish to do, is to deny parity of esteem for what you consider less worthy by denying the title of university to the places where those persons whose careers you consider less worthy, study.

Thirdly, on any fair application of the principles you put forward, archaeology would fall to be a university subject. The fact that you consider it not to be, really shows those principles are merely a fig leaf to cover a form of academic snobbery.
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AdamskiUK
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(Original post by nulli tertius)
I think there are three criticisms of your approach.

Firstly until the creation of a lot of modern vocational subjects in the last few years, from the renaissance onwards, universities were about guided independent reading. Therefore to say that any subject is not worthy or suitable for study at a university because it can be studied independently is a refusal to accept the last 500 years of history.

Secondly, whilst I think one can fairly draw a distinction between careers where a body of academic knowledge is required and those where it is not and "sitting by Nellie" is the best method of training, I think you give the game away in your earlier post where you refer to "college-based courses". The method of training isn't any different if one sits in a college or a university. What you wish to do, is to deny parity of esteem for what you consider less worthy by denying the title of university to the places where those persons whose careers you consider less worthy, study.

Thirdly, on any fair application of the principles you put forward, archaeology would fall to be a university subject. The fact that you consider it not to be, really shows those principles are merely a fig leaf to cover a form of academic snobbery.
A lot of what you said would be true, if I cared about University prestige whatsoever.

I don't *care* if you get your Maths degree from Sheffield Hallam or Leeds. If you come out with a 1st, I'm more than happy to employ you as my analyst or actuary. I would deny somebody the 'right' to go to university on the principle that their course isn't worth doing at such a high level. That's not academic snobbery, and I'm not all STEM. Historians, geographers, psychologists and language graduates are needed, but we don't need the volume that we are producing. They're getting a degree for the sake of getting one, simply because many employers are requesting them now. Things like archeology don't *need* to be treated to degree-level, because it is not advantageous to society to pay for somebody to go through 3 years of a course which isn't going to (traditionally) contribute much to society in the end.

We shouldn't encourage degrees which are unnecessary or unwanted in society. That means fluctuating graduate numbers to accommodate job numbers.

My mum used to run a hair salon a few years ago, employing one excellent hairdresser. This lady had EIGHT sisters, ALL of whom had a degree. ONE used their degree (for teaching), 3 were unemployed and the rest were working (and had been for at least 2 years) in jobs which were unskilled/unrelated to their degrees *whatsoever*.. What does that say to you?

That's not an exceptional case, either!
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andrew2209
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As somebody who is yet to even start university, I feel that there is a lot of pressure on people my age to go into higher education, such as university, as it looks good. Add into the fact that there are a considerable number of teens that see universities as 3 years of cheap alcohol and partying, with education a secondary thought. What should be done is to raise more awareness of the alternatives to university.

I definitely believe that some courses need re-evaluating or dropping, as they have little point. (Not naming any, but most of the bad degrees are humanities based subjects).
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blondie :)
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Whilst I do agree that SOME courses do seem a bit .. pointless (football marketing at Bucks New as a quick search) but many 'lower ranked' universities offer great courses that the 'higher ranked' ones do not. Teaching, nursing, occupational therapy for example are ones that are not taught at my uni (Sheffield) but are taught at Sheffield Hallam. Also many of these lower unis offer things such as placement years, which again many higher ranked universities do not offer, especially for normal degrees such as social sciences/arts/humanities. The fact that the higher ranked universities need to best grades attracts people who are brilliant at exams, but it's well known in the sciences for example, that many of them are rubbish at communicating and talking to people. I know that's an assumption but I have experienced it myself, whereas I know people at so called 'worse' universities who are much more well rounded people.

I hate people bashing degrees such as mine (sociology) when in fact I have learnt a lot of skills that are transferable and encourage people to be employable - much more than just going to lectures and memorising notes for an exam.
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Kimina
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Those so called 'universities' (really polytechnics) should either be shut down or offer sort of vocational apprenticeships but most of the courses at the Russel Groups should stay.
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Agree with the OP, degrees cost more than they used to and are worth less because so many people have them and there aren't enough graduate jobs. If the crap unis and pointless courses were shut down then tuition fees would go down for everyone else.
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EmilyStrange13
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(Original post by blondie :))
Whilst I do agree that SOME courses do seem a bit .. pointless (football marketing at Bucks New as a quick search) but many 'lower ranked' universities offer great courses that the 'higher ranked' ones do not. Teaching, nursing, occupational therapy for example are ones that are not taught at my uni (Sheffield) but are taught at Sheffield Hallam. Also many of these lower unis offer things such as placement years, which again many higher ranked universities do not offer, especially for normal degrees such as social sciences/arts/humanities. The fact that the higher ranked universities need to best grades attracts people who are brilliant at exams, but it's well known in the sciences for example, that many of them are rubbish at communicating and talking to people. I know that's an assumption but I have experienced it myself, whereas I know people at so called 'worse' universities who are much more well rounded people.

I hate people bashing degrees such as mine (sociology) when in fact I have learnt a lot of skills that are transferable and encourage people to be employable - much more than just going to lectures and memorising notes for an exam.
What? People are bashing degrees like Sociology?! Dx I can't even begin to see where they are coming from on this. >.> I can't wait to study my Sociology degree next year <3
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blondie :)
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(Original post by EmilyStrange13)
What? People are bashing degrees like Sociology?! Dx I can't even begin to see where they are coming from on this. >.> I can't wait to study my Sociology degree next year <3
The amount I've seen on here dismissing sociology AND 1 of my housemates likes to make me feel inferior that I do sociology and he does law. Sociology is so interesting though, good choice!
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Toub123
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You know your university has failed as an educational institution when they offer 'David Beckham Studies'...
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SmaugTheTerrible
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with minimum requirements for going to University at BBB or equivalent?

I don't agree with this btw.
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