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

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Joel R
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#261
(Original post by nulli tertius)
Perhaps this one year MSt was more what you are looking for to demonstrate Oxford does media studies

http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/postg...esthetics.html

It is nonsense to suggest that because a university does not do a subject at undergraduate level, it does not do it at all.

Here is Cambridge's course.

http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/gradstudies/smc/

and here is Imperial's

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/humanitie...ecommunication
Both of the Oxbridge master's courses are follow-ons to degrees which would be unanimously considered respectable (i.e. English Lang & Lit; Modern and Medieval Languages). As I've pointed out, there is a significant difference between doing media as the first three years of your degree compared to spending three years learning VERY broadly-applicable skills in the wider context of politics, art and culture, history, science, etc. and then specialising in media after that time.

I'm not sure what else I can say. It seems fairly obvious to me that 'media' is rather too specific to spend 4 years on (see my earlier comparison with ultimately specialising in muscular physiology versus spending 3 years on Sport Science). It just seems like a media studies degree would be roughly a quarter of the workload of e.g. MML. It's possible that a media degree is just more intensely focused, but then I'd ask the question of why the top people in film and journalism overwhelmingly didn't study Media at undergrad.

I'm not totally convinced that you understand what a media studies degree entails; I very much doubt you could reasonably compare it to a science communication degree otherwise.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Joel R)
Both of the Oxbridge master's courses are follow-ons to degrees which would be unanimously considered respectable (i.e. English Lang & Lit; Modern and Medieval Languages). As I've pointed out, there is a significant difference between doing media as the first three years of your degree compared to spending three years learning VERY broadly-applicable skills in the wider context of politics, art and culture, history, science, etc. and then specialising in media after that time.

I'm not sure what else I can say. It seems fairly obvious to me that 'media' is rather too specific to spend 4 years on (see my earlier comparison with ultimately specialising in muscular physiology versus spending 3 years on Sport Science). It just seems like a media studies degree would be roughly a quarter of the workload of e.g. MML. It's possible that a media degree is just more intensely focused, but then I'd ask the question of why the top people in film and journalism overwhelmingly didn't study Media at undergrad.

I'm not totally convinced that you understand what a media studies degree entails; I very much doubt you could reasonably compare it to a science communication degree otherwise.

The problem with media studies is not the amount of material that can be studied or the intrinsic worth of the subject. The problem is the same problem as with all generic arts degrees. There are far too many people studying subjects for the number of vacancies likely to exist which value the skills that graduates in those subjects acquire.

In relation to film and journalism, it is not so much a dislike for media studies graduates, but a liking for Oxbridge and similar graduates willing and able to work for nothing or peanuts. Even before there were unpaid internships, a BBC typing pool resembled an Oxbridge women's college of wannabe TV presenters.
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Kimina
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(Original post by RussellG)
Education is a foundation of country.
There is a clear correlations between economic growth and good education (except those with rich natural resources).

Nations with poor education system and poorly educated people have no future.

Whereas fancy cars don't contribute a lot to nations' economy.
(More citizens with fancy cars contribute very little for higher GDP growth. but more educated citizens can bring higher GDP growth.)

In other words, 'the investment for higher education has a much higher multiplier effect than the investment for fancy cars'.
Exactly my point though. We have such an appalling primary and secondary education system that needs to be sorted out before we invest in 'less worthwhile' further education courses. There are 'graduates' who cannot write correctly or perform simply mathematical calculations... so the value of this so called 'education' from bull universities is questionable.
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PQ
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(Original post by Toub123)
You know your university has failed as an educational institution when they offer 'David Beckham Studies'...
Please show me which university offers a degree (or even a qualification) on that topic. Repeating urban myths as fact doesn't strengthen your argument.

(Original post by Kimina)
Exactly my point though. We have such an appalling primary and secondary education system that needs to be sorted out before we invest in 'less worthwhile' further education courses. There are 'graduates' who cannot write correctly or perform simply mathematical calculations... so the value of this so called 'education' from bull universities is questionable.
Really? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?
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Hannahmay01
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No unis such as york st john and Canterbury Christ church are the best unis for primary education.
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RussellG
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(Original post by Kimina)
Exactly my point though. We have such an appalling primary and secondary education system that needs to be sorted out before we invest in 'less worthwhile' further education courses. There are 'graduates' who cannot write correctly or perform simply mathematical calculations... so the value of this so called 'education' from bull universities is questionable.
Public primary and secondary education are usually appalling not only in the UK but also in other countries. (for example, look at US or France)

Even the countries having most educated secondary students like East Asian countries don't have good public education systems at all. The main difference between UK and those countries is simply a result of supplemental studies like cram schools and 'how much parents are prepared to spend huge money for education instead of buying fancy cars and PS4'.

In the UK, only upper and some middle class families do the same and the rest of the families just don't care about educational expenditure (maybe a bit but not enough).

Kids especially around 6-15 need massive educational supports from their own parents. What UK essentially needs for the improvement of primary education is actually education to parents rather than kids.

But I'm not saying UK should copy East Asian countries, actually I don't think it's needed. I just wanted to say it's a result of the decision making process but not the quality of free education.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Kimina)
Exactly my point though. We have such an appalling primary and secondary education system that needs to be sorted out before we invest in 'less worthwhile' further education courses. There are 'graduates' who cannot write correctly or perform simply mathematical calculations... so the value of this so called 'education' from bull universities is questionable.

(Original post by PQ)


Really? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?

I think we do have evidence to back up this claim or at least we did. Trainee teachers used to have to pass a literacy test and a numeracy test at the end of their academic studies but before teaching. The test must now be taken and passed before starting a teaching course (but PGCE teachers will be still at the end of their degree).

In 2011/2 only 4 out of 5 graduates passed a basic numeracy test first time while the literacy test results were a little better. Interestingly literacy skills increased with age but numeracy skills declined. The numeracy skills for candidates from ethnic minorities were particularly poor.

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets...202011-12.xlsx
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Toub123
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(Original post by PQ)
Please show me which university offers a degree (or even a qualification) on that topic. Repeating urban myths as fact doesn't strengthen your argument.



Really? Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?
'David Beckham studies' was a module in sociology at Staffordshire University in 2000. No urban myth there :rolleyes:
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Spaghetti
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(Original post by Toub123)
'David Beckham studies' was a module in sociology at Staffordshire University in 2000. No urban myth there :rolleyes:
But that isn't a whole degree

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Kimina
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(Original post by RussellG)
Education is a foundation of country.
There is a clear correlations between economic growth and good education (except those with rich natural resources).

Nations with poor education system and poorly educated people have no future.

Whereas fancy cars don't contribute a lot to nations' economy.
(More citizens with fancy cars contribute very little for higher GDP growth. but more educated citizens can bring higher GDP growth.)

In other words, 'the investment for higher education has a much higher multiplier effect than the investment for fancy cars'.
If you had read my later posts you would know that I agree but I feel that learning to read and write is more important than the not so useful degree in media studies and that resources should be divided to other parts of the education system rater than just bull courses.
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RussellG
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(Original post by Kimina)
If you had read my later posts you would know that I agree but I feel that learning to read and write is more important than the not so useful degree in media studies and that resources should be divided to other parts of the education system rater than just bull courses.
I also think literacy is more prior than HE.
But I don't think there are many illiterate people in the UK...

World map indicating literacy by country in 2011

About bull courses, I actually don't agree to close such courses.
Diversity of human resources is also strategically important for the survival of nations. (otherwise those nations will become economically inferior when some paradigm shift happens. For example, engineering studies used to be looked down long time ago.)

But I think passing standards for those courses (and those universities) had better be stricter than now, something a little bit like German universities.

In Germany, the dropout rate of universities is 50% on average, and indeed public universities mostly apply similar tough standards for graduation. In the UK, the highest dropout rate is 17% (London Met) and 7.4% overall.
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leanne1996
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If you shut down the lowest universities on the league table, that leaves you with less universities. If you do the same the next year, there'll be even less.
However if you only shut down a number of them, what number on the league table would you say 'That is the minimum rank, the rest can get gone'?
Would you even give them a chance to improve?
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SilverstarDJ
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No, I don't think we should shut them down if people want to study them BUT I do think we should not fill students with unrealistic expectations of where their degree will lead them. I have friends who have done media studies, but are now very disgruntled that they can't find a job in that industry. If they wanted to do such a degree for learnings sake, that's fine and their choice, but the problem is they expected to have an open door into that industry which wasn't well explained to them when they applied.
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BAD AT MATHS
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The thing is though most people that went to these unis probably benefited from doing so. They are probably is a better position than they otherwise would have been. I realise some people are going to reply to me with anecdotal examples of people going to 'crappy' unis or doing 'crappy' degrees that can't get jobs. But because a few unfortunate people get unlucky doesn't mean we should punish the rest by closing down what in many cases is their only opportunity of some sort of social mobility.
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CatnipGlows
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Hmm- Reading Uni isn't crap you idiot.

There are only some courses I think are a waste of money, although I do agree too many people are doing degrees. I know people who went to university, got degrees in things like the sciences, and didn't even want a job in that- for example, he's happier being a caretaker. What's the point of all these people wasting government funding, doing degrees and getting into debt when they don't need them for the job they want?
I mean, if someone has an actual interest in the subject etc, then fair enough. But people who just want to go to uni, do any degree for 'the parties' and come out no better are ridiculous.
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CatnipGlows
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Pointless courses.. examples.

http://www.hope.ac.uk/postgraduate/p...candsocietyma/ 'The Beatles studies'

Northhampton: dance with equine studies

Staffordshire: David Beckham studies

Plymouth: surfing studies

Birmingham: Golf Managment

Chichester: Adventure

others include: fire engineering, horology, christian studies and harry potter, and the list goes on..
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by abbiemac)
Pointless courses.. examples.

...

Birmingham: Golf Managment
You mean the degree with just about the best graduate employment rate in the country (and I do include medicine in that).

horology
This course, at Birmingham City, is so useless that Cartier offer paid work placements to every student.
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jelly1000
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I don't believe every degree offered by lower ranked universities is useless, far from it. Lower ranked unis are the best for primary education and for other vocational courses like nursing I believe it doesn't matter what university you do. However I do believe there are some degrees which aren't necessary such as Leisure and Tourism and I think ALL universities of all ranks could do more to help improve employability of their graduates by offering more in built work experience into courses. And also maybe adapt courses more so they reflect the real world more. For example one of my 3rd year modules didn't involve any essay writing, because as my tutor said, once you graduate unless you go onto further study you'll never write an essay again in your life. So instead he made us write a report of our findings which we could need to do in jobs. I think unis should be doing things like that as well.
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lifelonged
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(Original post by jelly1000)
I don't believe every degree offered by lower ranked universities is useless, far from it. Lower ranked unis are the best for primary education and for other vocational courses like nursing I believe it doesn't matter what university you do. However I do believe there are some degrees which aren't necessary such as Leisure and Tourism and I think ALL universities of all ranks could do more to help improve employability of their graduates by offering more in built work experience into courses. And also maybe adapt courses more so they reflect the real world more. For example one of my 3rd year modules didn't involve any essay writing, because as my tutor said, once you graduate unless you go onto further study you'll never write an essay again in your life. So instead he made us write a report of our findings which we could need to do in jobs. I think unis should be doing things like that as well.
I agree that you have to take each course on its merits. Some lower ranked universities/colleges are excellent for a particular course. It can be hard to filter these out from the poor courses and the danger is that you'll get tarred with the same brush. This doesn't always happen though e.g. I know many who've done teaching at Ripon St Johns and done very well.

I don't agree with you about the academic content though. You may not write an academic essay again, but you will use the skills regularly. Most reports aren't hard to write (compared to an essay). For me university is about an academic education, not vocational training. This is the problem we've confused the two. If this wasn't true then why do some (top) employers target only very academic courses/universities. I work with many people who've studied philosophy at Cambridge and they are very capable people (despite having spent three years writing essays).

If you want a vocational training (and not an academic education) then I believe that there are many better and cheaper methods of obtaining this. Universities were once for top academic performers, the only way that we were able to increase the proportion attending was to lower the standard (at some institutions). I can't see how this has helped anyone?
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username207685
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(Original post by Toub123)
'David Beckham studies' was a module in sociology at Staffordshire University in 2000. No urban myth there :rolleyes:
It was called Football Culture and was about "the rise of football from its folk origins in the 17th century, to the power it's become and the central place it occupies in British culture, and indeed world culture, today".
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