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Are there any truly 'bad' universities in the UK? Watch

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    (Original post by ch0llima)
    This, dear readers, is why our education system is broken. I would wager that about 40% of university courses are vocational and need not exist.

    Why do you need a degree in Fashion Design? Advertising and Marketing? Film Production? These are all vocational and practical disciplines, with it also being highly likely that those in the top of their game in such fields have never set foot in a university and got there through some natural talent and a lot of hard work. Even Nursing is a recent degree option - I guarantee you there are thousands of highly competent and experienced nurses who have never done a degree, it used to be diploma and placement based.

    This country is too focussed on "academic" and "educational" achievements and not on tangible, practical experience. Last year, I read in the paper about an experienced secretary/PA/receptionist type person who got made redundant in the recession and applied for an identical role at the local blood donor clinic. She was refused, because she didn't have the NVQ in something ridiculous like "Blood Donor Clinic Administration" despite having 20 years of secretarial experience and being a perfect fit for the role. Absolutely effing ludicrous :fuhrer:

    My argument is ostensibly sound, but feel free to fire 50cal bullets into it as you surely will. As much as I hate the Labour Party, I freely admit that John Major set the ball rolling on this nonsense by upgrading the polytechnics in 1992. Tony Blair could have stopped it, but he decided to go with "Education, education, education", which eventually manifested itself as dumbing down the English school system and forcing universities to drop their standards as a result.
    Are these things directly related? For example, medicine is a vocational course - would you support medicine as a degree not existing?
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      (Original post by TheSownRose)
      Two A-levels making 200 points would be BB.
      I would expect students who aim to go to university to be capable of at least 3 A-levels, if not more.
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      (Original post by im so academic)
      That's the point. Look at courses at Oxford and Cambridge - a small selection of courses which they can really focus on.
      People don't go to Oxbridge for an education they go there for prestige.

      They have a small number of courses, a small number of students (which they can cherry pick from across the globe) and obscene amounts of funding. I don't know why you insist on comparing every university in the UK to Oxford and Cambridge they've had a thousand year head start.

      (Original post by im so academic)
      So?
      :erm:

      (Original post by im so academic)
      You do not need to study advertising at university.
      And you need to study Classics? Theology? Music?

      We do what we believe will be best for us, technically none of us need to do anything.

      (Original post by im so academic)
      Then you have to accept that there will always be academic elitism.
      No, I don't.

      I find it incredibly amusing that people who pride themselves on their intellect are so juvenile and petty. Academic elitism is not a good thing it never has been and it never will be, it's stupid and destructive as are those who engage in it.

      Academic elitism encourages people to dismiss or adopt ideas and information based purely on where it came from. It also encourages group think which goes against the one thing universities should invoke in their students which is independent thought.

      (Original post by im so academic)
      An anecdote will not change my opinions.
      I wasn't trying to change your opinion, I have in the past and I know it's a waste of time.

      (Original post by im so academic)
      So why go to university for? Why don't you just drop out and take the job?
      Because I don't want to do the same thing my entire life and working for yourself sucks, it's all stick and no carrot.

      That's what made laugh when the Tories suggested starting a business as a substitute for education, if you're self employed before the age of 40 and you don't make a major success of it (and by major I mean do more than make a decent living, you need like 7 or 8 decent livings) as far as the working world is concerned you may as well of been on the dole.

      For me university kills four birds with one stone. It puts me back on "the grid", I'll have a qualification that people can recognise and I won't have to explain **** that happened to me when I was 14, it gives me time to reach a level of skill and knowledge I need and finally it sets me on a kind of career progression.

      It's all about jumping through hoops and that's all university is, an expensive and time consuming hoop.
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        (Original post by Wozzie)
        People don't go to Oxbridge for an education they go there for prestige.
        Bull****. The majority of candidates that goes there for the prestige will get weeded out. And the ones that do get in, well, would it really matter?

        They have a small number of courses, a small number of students (which they can cherry pick from across the globe) and obscene amounts of funding. I don't know why you insist on comparing every university in the UK to Oxford and Cambridge they've had a thousand year head start.
        Why not? They're still universities?

        And you need to study Classics? Theology? Music?
        Classics is an extremely tough degree which you need a knowledge of Latin and/or Greek to complete. I'd like you to see you study it.
        Theology is a respectable and highly academic arts degree comparable with History or English Literature.
        As for Music - oh come on! Of course that is a respectable degree, especially at a music conservatoire.

        I'm sick of you trying to defend certain universities, and I'm shocked you can even dare criticise Oxbridge and Classics degree. :zomg:
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        (Original post by puddlejumper)
        I don't know. I know nothing about maths as a subject. That's why I asked.
        It shows...

        (Original post by puddlejumper)
        But it seems to me that from my position if you're teaching algebra, for example. then the same facts and knowledge base is applicable regardless of where you being taught. So you are either capable of learning and applying those facts or you aren't. But location and teachers are irrelevant, except that some lecturers may be able to explain the difficult in a way in which the slower student can understand.

        Mate, stop talking crap and just glimpse at the content covered by Portsmouth and then Cambridge. I garentee that the knowledge of a typical Portsmouth undergrad will be a fraction of that of a wrangler.
        (Original post by puddlejumper)
        Maths is not a subject where it is up to interpretation. 2+2 =4 regardless of whether you are in Cambridge or in Hull.
        Maximum respect for this observation.
        (Original post by puddlejumper)

        I quite understand that Cambridge ask for higher admission standards, but given that Maths laws are the same anywhere, why is maths more difficult in Cambridge? Surely it should be easier as the students are presumably more academically able?
        Please stop being so dense, very intelligent people studying very hard are going to simply cover a lot more mathematics.
        This is not the Emperor's new clothes, it would not surprise me if an Oxford/ Cambridge/Warwick etc student had covered every topic covered in the Portsmouth course in the first year. This does not make Portsmouth a bad university, it's just how the course is.
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        NO otherwise it wouldnt be a UNI.
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        (Original post by Wozzie)
        People don't go to Oxbridge for an education they go there for prestige.
        :confused: I definitely went there for an education.
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          (Original post by TheSownRose)
          Are these things directly related? For example, medicine is a vocational course - would you support medicine as a degree not existing?
          I suppose you could argue that, yes.

          However, medicine tends to be subject to a much deeper level of scientific basis and understanding. Nursing, on the other hand, tends to be more about direct patient care such as keeping them comfortable; administering certain drugs when necessary; taking readings etc. whereas all the core treatment and care lies with a consultant or similar.

          As medicine is obviously far more academic then yes, degrees in it should exist.
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          i think uni's which ask for high grades take on students with high academic ability. but people who have said on this, that uni's that ask for grades EE or less than 200 are rubbish... that is a load of crap! because i think this gives more people the opportunity to go to uni and study something that they are interested in. if they have a genuine interest in what they are studying, they WILL do well. People learn in different ways e.g. people learn more by doing practical work, but may not perform well in exams etc. this doesn't mean that they should not go to uni because they will be useless when they are in the "working world", as they may have the desired personal qualities required for their career choice more than someone with a degree from OXFORD OR CAMBRIDGE. Doing a degree shows that someone is committed etc. and people educated to degree level will benefit society.

          which uni is better... the university of huddersfield or sheffield hallam ?
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          Hertfordshire or staffordsomething...
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          (Original post by Hooj)
          Hertfordshire or staffordsomething...
          Really? I didn't think Hertfordshire was that bad.
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          (Original post by RupertTheBear)
          This has got to go into the retarded comments on TSR hall of fame.
          Please don't be abusive. If you have anything other than abuse to contribute please post it.

          Obviously you must have literally no understanding of mathematics,
          What mathematics am I supposed not to understand; the mathematics undertaken in a mathematics degree or the rather basic statistics that I am using. If the former, then you are right but irrelevant. If the latter, then you are wrong.



          but I think extra credit is due for ignorance

          Ignorance of what?

          and persistent refusal to accept that some institutions attract more able students.
          Of course, the average Cambridge student, whether in maths, or anything else. would have been more able than the average Poly student but I was there in the 1980s (Oxford rather than Cambridge) and I have the teeshirt.

          However, that isn't the issue.

          The fact that someone went to a Polytechnic does not necessarily mean they are unintelligent. There may well be factors which limited the choice of institution that a particular student went to. This is particularly the case 30 years ago when there were far fewer universities.



          Just briefly look at the courses.

          I would if I could.

          I don't have a Cambridge maths syllabus from the early 1980s but I do have an Oxford maths syllabus of that vintage. I don't have a Poly maths syllabus of that vintage. Do you?


          Don't get me wrong a first from a polytechnic in Mathematics is worth something, but it is not on par with a first from Cambridge in one of its strongest subjects.

          The oldest statistic I have for the number of Polytechnic maths graduates is 471 in 1989 which will be 1986 entry. Assume that the number in 1982 was the same.

          15 first class degrees out of 471 students. That is a rate of approximately 3%

          Cambridge had 48 firsts out of about 200 students; 24%.

          Don't you think that the difference between 3% and 24% might be accounted for by the difference in the respective standards of the two cohorts of students without the need to make the unsubstantiated claim that the 3% who got Poly firsts produced a lower standard of work to get their firsts than the 24% who got the Cambridge firsts?


          If you have any better evidence than unsubstantiated assertion, please give it.
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          (Original post by xnatalie01x)
          Really? I didn't think Hertfordshire was that bad.
          I dunno really, i'm trying to remember.
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          (Original post by lalala1)

          which uni is better... the university of huddersfield or sheffield hallam ?
          It depends on the course but if your referring to the league tables then I think Huddersfield is better.
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          (Original post by ch0llima)
          This, dear readers, is why our education system is broken. I would wager that about 40% of university courses are vocational and need not exist.

          Why do you need a degree in Fashion Design? Advertising and Marketing? Film Production? These are all vocational and practical disciplines, with it also being highly likely that those in the top of their game in such fields have never set foot in a university and got there through some natural talent and a lot of hard work. Even Nursing is a recent degree option - I guarantee you there are thousands of highly competent and experienced nurses who have never done a degree, it used to be diploma and placement based.

          This country is too focussed on "academic" and "educational" achievements and not on tangible, practical experience. Last year, I read in the paper about an experienced secretary/PA/receptionist type person who got made redundant in the recession and applied for an identical role at the local blood donor clinic. She was refused, because she didn't have the NVQ in something ridiculous like "Blood Donor Clinic Administration" despite having 20 years of secretarial experience and being a perfect fit for the role. Absolutely effing ludicrous :fuhrer:

          My argument is ostensibly sound, but feel free to fire 50cal bullets into it as you surely will. As much as I hate the Labour Party, I freely admit that John Major set the ball rolling on this nonsense by upgrading the polytechnics in 1992. Tony Blair could have stopped it, but he decided to go with "Education, education, education", which eventually manifested itself as dumbing down the English school system and forcing universities to drop their standards as a result.
          It is these points that make me wonder whether the fees hike is such a bad idea, higher education is not a right, it is for people that have worked hard and deserve the taxpayer's money. Well, not so much the taxpayer's anymore, just a loan from them :rolleyes:

          And yes, before you go ape **** like the self-entitled little rahs in all the student protests because you want attention, I do know the cons of the proposals.
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          Middlesex
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          (Original post by nulli tertius)
          What mathematics am I supposed not to understand; the mathematics undertaken in a mathematics degree or the rather basic statistics that I am using. If the former, then you are right but irrelevant. If the latter, then you are wrong.
          The former. Sorry if I am coming over a bit strong but If you are going to make subject specific judgements about degrees, do you really think that it is irrelevant that you know nothing about the subject?
          I don't think that you are using the statistics properly either but lets not open that can of worms. I have already got way too into this.

          (Original post by nulli tertius)
          However, that isn't the issue.
          The fact that someone went to a Polytechnic does not necessarily mean they are unintelligent. There may well be factors which limited the choice of institution that a particular student went to. This is particularly the case 30 years ago when there were far fewer universities.
          I know, both my parents and my step brother went to Polytechnics.

          (Original post by nulli tertius)
          I would if I could.

          I don't have a Cambridge maths syllabus from the early 1980s but I do have an Oxford maths syllabus of that vintage. I don't have a Poly maths syllabus of that vintage. Do you?
          No, all I have to offer is the fact that I am going to Uni to study maths in October. I have a general idea of which courses go into depth and as much as I love them, it isn't the polytechnics.

          (Original post by nulli tertius)
          The oldest statistic I have for the number of Polytechnic maths graduates is 471 in 1989 which will be 1986 entry. Assume that the number in 1982 was the same.

          15 first class degrees out of 471 students. That is a rate of approximately 3%

          Cambridge had 48 firsts out of about 200 students; 24%.

          Don't you think that the difference between 3% and 24% might be accounted for by the difference in the respective standards of the two cohorts of students without the need to make the unsubstantiated claim that the 3% who got Poly firsts produced a lower standard of work to get their firsts than the 24% who got the Cambridge firsts?

          No.....? A first in mathematics at Cambridge is going to be of a higher standard than a first in mathematics at a polytechnic. Why? The course at Cambridge just goes in to more depth. If the same person achieved a first at a polytechnic and then a first at Cambridge in mathematics, the first at Cambridge would be of a higher standard. It is not necessarily a reflection of that student.
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          (Original post by Hooj)
          Hertfordshire or staffordsomething...
          Staffordshire? I want to go there, because of the fact that they are one of the best universities in the country to study networking, and have fantastic links with Cisco. The Stafford campus has a lot of the computing and engineering side to it. A huge proportion of the computing side seems to be "mickey mouse" now. I wouldn't study Computer Science there, however Stafford is the place to be for studying networking.

          Also, by doing networking,you can expect to receive between 26K and 80K, depending on your knowledge and job role
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          UEL and Thames Valley are bad.
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          (Original post by RupertTheBear)
          The course at Cambridge just goes in to more depth.
          I entirely accept that is the position today. The issue is whether that was true 30 years ago when Polys didn't award their own degrees but awarded degrees validated, and they were truely validated, by the Council for National Academic Awards.

          Moreover these were the days when if you got a first from a Poly you had your name in The Times (hence how I can quote 30 year old results at you).
         
         
         
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