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Should ex-polytechnics be renamed or abolished? Watch

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    (Original post by Klix88)
    I've attended Oxford, Russell Group and ex-poly unis. The only one geared towards both academic learning and preparing students for a useful working life in my field, is the ex-poly. The Russell Group is focussed on preparing undergrads for an academic career which won't be available to the vast majority of their graduates. Oxford was about creating and maintaining a network of people, some of whom could be relied on to become influential and give you a leg up the ladder.

    Research in my Oxford subject has completely fossilised there over the last thirty years. It's taught by the same staff who were teaching me in the early-80s and the only new members of the department are their ex-students. Research at the Russell Group and ex-poly are pretty much on a par in terms of originality and value to the field. The major difference is that the Russell Group uni has far more research funding available. The ex-poly staff spend much more of their time writing grant applications in order to keep their jobs.
    Really good post
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    (Original post by Skip_Snip)
    I don't know what's more shameful, that I actually googled Carpet Studies, or that fact that it exists ...
    But you didn't mention where it exists.

    http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/staff/iw/jthompson.html
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    But you didn't mention where it exists.

    http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/staff/iw/jthompson.html
    :eek:
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    I don't have a problem with people being given the opportunity to attend university, whatever their qualifications may have been at the time of entry. Employers know what they want; they know what the best universities in the country are and they also know the relative worth of 2:1 from Durham and a first from UWS.

    If people want to read Carpet Studies, let them. I don't see the point but that's not for me to decide. Many of the degrees taught at universities (even the elite) aren't particularly arming you for work either, classical studies and humanities certainly broaden your mind but how these skills transfer to the work place is highly debatable. Universities are about more than just allowing people to apply for "graduate" jobs, they are about learning for the sake of learning. If you have a passion and you wish to follow it then you should be able to do so, whether that should be at the taxpayer's expense I don't know.

    If you're worried about your degrees worth then you need to reconsider why you're going to university in the first place. Some degrees won't make you more employable and it shouldn't be expected that they should. If you want employability then pick a field with a high employment rate e.g. medicine, engineering or anything vocational.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Putting in bold as people don't seem to realise this: -

    David Beckham studies does not, and never did, exist as a degree.

    If either of you can find me a David Beckham studies degree, or even a module in a degree called "David Beckham studies", I will retract this.

    What you are likely referring to is a single 12 week module offered by Staffordshire university. It was offered to those studying sociology, media studies and sport science, and examined the rise of football from its beginnings to the major sport and the major place it now holds in modern British society. Being a major footballing icon of the late 90s and early 00s (the course was first announced in 2000) David Beckham was used as a case study, but so too were other footballers.

    This is no more "mickey mouse" than a number of other modules I can name that are seen in humanities and social science at a range of universities, including some of our leading institutions.
    My source for that was uncited, and it appears that that is indeed what it was talking about. However, despite your explanation of what this module entails, for me, taxpayers' money should not be spent on funding such a course. Why do we need people to learn about footballers at university?

    Engineering? Surveying? Architecture? Law? Medicine? Town Planning? Nursing? Occupational Therapy? Speech and Language Therapy?

    What vocational courses, and why shouldn't they be taught at universities?
    Law, medecine, engineering etc. are among the vocational courses that require an amount of academic study that warrants a dedicated degree course. Nursing does not, neither does hair dressing, and neither do many more vocational courses on offer at universities in the UK.

    Yes, but one does learn in a vocational degree. Vocational degrees have been offered since the Ancients. Some of the oldest universities in Europe were established to provide what was largely a vocational education.
    I have no problem with institutions founded for the purpose of providing a vocational education. I think universities should not offer the less complex and academically demanding of them among their many courses. Let's have specific institutions that teach people the skills they need for less demanding (both intellectually and on resources) courses.
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    (Original post by Sulphur)
    I don't have a problem with people being given the opportunity to attend university, whatever their qualifications may have been at the time of entry. Employers know what they want; they know what the best universities in the country are and they also know the relative worth of 2:1 from Durham and a first from UWS.

    If people want to read Carpet Studies, let them. I don't see the point but that's not for me to decide. Many of the degrees taught at universities (even the elite) aren't particularly arming you for work either, classical studies and humanities certainly broaden your mind but how these skills transfer to the work place is highly debatable. Universities are about more than just allowing people to apply for "graduate" jobs, they are about learning for the sake of learning. If you have a passion and you wish to follow it then you should be able to do so, whether that should be at the taxpayer's expense I don't know.

    If you're worried about your degrees worth then you need to reconsider why you're going to university in the first place. Some degrees won't make you more employable and it shouldn't be expected that they should. If you want employability then pick a field with a high employment rate e.g. medicine, engineering or anything vocational.
    I totally agree with everything you've said mate.


    TBH, the more people that do Carpet Studies, the better off I am!
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    I totally agree with everything you've said mate.


    TBH, the more people that do Carpet Studies, the better off I am!
    Of course they should really do it at Harris Manchester College.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_...ris_of_Peckham

    http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/pages/defaul...sID=174&cP=343
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    (Original post by tjf8)
    My source for that was uncited, and it appears that that is indeed what it was talking about. However, despite your explanation of what this module entails, for me, taxpayers' money should not be spent on funding such a course. Why do we need people to learn about footballers at university?
    Why not?

    It isn't "learning about footballers" as such, it is studying the social phenomenon that football has become, and is/was only a short module. It's an area of genuine academic research which is why the module was created in the first place. In my opinion it is no less deserving of academic attention than many other things studied in sociology degrees at leading universities, from Comte to Harry Potter.

    Law, medecine, engineering etc. are among the vocational courses that require an amount of academic study that warrants a dedicated degree course. Nursing does not, neither does hair dressing, and neither do many more vocational courses on offer at universities in the UK.
    Nursing has seen significant changes in the last generation and nurses are performing increasingly complex roles. Being part of a health care team, they can be involved in diagnosis and treatment management. They therefore require knowledge of areas such as pharmacology.

    Would you therefore put Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, or other subjects allied to medicine (that are vocational) alongside nursing and other subjects that are not "academic enough"?

    Out of interest, why do you feel you are so knowledgeable about these courses and careers?

    And can you show me some hairdressing degrees? I know of hairdressing foundation degrees, but these aren't full honours degrees. I also know of hairdressing and salon management degrees, but this very different. They are specialist, applied business management degrees and not a vocational degree in hairdressing.
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    (Original post by Rybee)
    I totally agree with everything you've said mate.


    TBH, the more people that do Carpet Studies, the better off I am!
    Pretty much. I'm certainly not worried about competing with people who read Carpet Studies for 3 years.

    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Of course they should really do it at Harris Manchester College.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_...ris_of_Peckham

    http://www.hmc.ox.ac.uk/pages/defaul...sID=174&cP=343
    A vision of the ridiculously educated Oxford graduate working at Carpetright, detailing the "intricate" patterns of a replica of an Arabic carpet. Explaining the heritage behind the design, the rich historical context and how the 10% wool makes this carpet feel "luxurious" to the touch...priceless.

    More seriously though, since this degree is from oxford, I can see its potential in the niche market of 15th, 16th, 17th century carpet auctioning with the likes of Christies.
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    (Original post by Sulphur)
    Pretty much. I'm certainly not worried about competing with people who read Carpet Studies for 3 years.
    It's good you aren't, as it doesn't exist either.
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    (Original post by River85)
    It's good you aren't, as it doesn't exist either.
    hmm...maybe...it's time?
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    Ok... well can we consider talking University status away from London Metropolitan?

    I only say this when their Offer is "2 Passes at A-level" and when their slogan is "Proud to be London Met" You know there's a bit of a disservice to its Students.
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    If you really think people who attend/have attented ex-polys are coming out with worthless degrees and/or are poor academically, I don't see why people get themselves into such a stress about it on here. If we're as bad as you say we are, surely there's less competition for you, not more?

    I reckon a lot of these elitist threads suggesting "lesser" universities should be gotten rid of are created to undermine people and reduce the competition because of the currently oversaturated jobs markets - you're just going to have to work harder and get good experience, which ex-polys are particularly good at helping you get.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Why not?

    It isn't "learning about footballers" as such, it is studying the social phenomenon that football has become, and is/was only a short module. It's an area of genuine academic research which is why the module was created in the first place. In my opinion it is no less deserving of academic attention than many other things studied in sociology degrees at leading universities, from Comte to Harry Potter.
    We are talking about this specific example here because I wrongly assumed having read an article about degree courses in the UK that it was one in itself. All I'm saying is we've got two big problems with universities in the UK at the moment, a) competition for places and b) the cost of attending, because of the recession. In my opinion, the government should cut back on funding for vocational degrees (foundation, full honours, whatever) that require less training and build better apprenticeship schemes that are more intensive and efficient for giving people the skills they need to go into the workplace.

    Nursing has seen significant changes in the last generation and nurses are performing increasingly complex roles. Being part of a health care team, they can be involved in diagnosis and treatment management. They therefore require knowledge of areas such as pharmacology.

    Would you therefore put Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, or other subjects allied to medicine (that are vocational) alongside nursing and other subjects that are not "academic enough"?

    Out of interest, why do you feel you are so knowledgeable about these courses and careers?
    For the sake of brevity I have been leaving out "in my opinion" at the start of each sentence – I would not claim to be knowledgeable about each of these courses in particular. I am assuming that there are vocational degrees that require less intensive study than medecine, law and engineering. Would you put these degrees associated with medecine on the same level as a medecine degree with regard to intensity of study? Cuts have to be made somewhere, and as I've said, for me, rather than putting costs up for everyone, we should encourage people who could possibly go elsewhere, for the training they need, to do so.
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    (Original post by tjf8)
    Why do we need people to learn about footballers at university?
    Because football is a global cultural phenomenon, or shouldn't we be studying those critically?


    Law, medecine, engineering etc. are among the vocational courses that require an amount of academic study that warrants a dedicated degree course. Nursing does not, neither does hair dressing, and neither do many more vocational courses on offer at universities in the UK.
    I strongly disagree about your view on nursing not needing academic knowledge. Modern nursing is a highly technical discipline, it's not just changing bedpans... As for other subjects - I would personally need to look at the course in detail before damning them. Never judge a book by its cover.



    I have no problem with institutions founded for the purpose of providing a vocational education. I think universities should not offer the less complex and academically demanding of them among their many courses. Let's have specific institutions that teach people the skills they need for less demanding (both intellectually and on resources).
    I agree that having technical institutions is better, but because we can achieve excellence in those areas not as, I suspect you think, some kind of gulag where we can separate the stupid lower class from the elite.
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    (Original post by tjf8)
    For the sake of brevity I have been leaving out "in my opinion" at the start of each sentence – I would not claim to be knowledgeable about each of these courses in particular. I am assuming that there are vocational degrees that require less intensive study than medecine, law and engineering. Would you put these degrees associated with medecine on the same level as a medecine degree with regard to intensity of study? Cuts have to be made somewhere, and as I've said, for me, rather than putting costs up for everyone, we should encourage people who could possibly go elsewhere for the training they need to do so.
    Please define what you mean by 'intensity' of study.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    I agree that having technical institutions is better, but because we can achieve excellence in those areas not as, I suspect you think, some kind of gulag where we can separate the stupid lower class from the elite.
    Not quite:

    (Original post by tjf8)
    In my opinion, the government should... build better apprenticeship schemes that are more intensive and efficient for giving people the skills they need to go into the workplace.
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    Your point? My "bull**** worthless ex-poly degree" helped me bag a job with arguably the top company in my industry
    Carpet City ? .... sorry Vlad :getmecoat:
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Please define what you mean by 'intensity' of study.
    How much you need to learn.
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    The way I see it is that too many people are going to University, so there are three ways of stopping this:

    1) Get rid of ex-polytechnics
    2) Get rid of non-academic degrees
    3) Raise tuition fees considerably
 
 
 
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