Autumn Statement - Postgraduate loans. Watch

Josh_Dickson
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Eboracum)
I mean the UK Government would probably argue that in order to increase our standing in competition with other countries, we as you say, need to educate as many as possible. But this of course undervalues degrees if everybody has them. I just wonder if it would be better to go the other way, actually try and make fewer people go to university, get it so fewer people have UK degrees which would increase their standing.

If I'm honest though it depends on your position. If I'm a UK Cabinet Minister, you want a policy like this, but if I'm a current undergrad aspiring masters student possibly I want to get ahead.
That's one angle on it. Can totally see from an individual point of view why the people who have these qualifications would want to be in a minority. However from a macro lens I don't think the argument in favour of mass education is limited to an economic interest; what effects do you think having an educated population brings upon other areas of society?

Does having a critically aware and engaged (the two don't always go hand in hand mind you ) electorate, for instance, reduces the chance of a self-serving government manipulating its way into power with subterfuge?
Does having an intelligent population help with issues like crime and punishment? How about things like Jury duty? Anyone seen the film 12 Angry Men? I'm sure anyone listening to the episode Serial - and the episode where they interview members of the Jury - at the moment will have a thought on this...
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
That's one angle on it. Can totally see from an individual point of view why the people who have these qualifications would want to be in a minority. However from a macro lens I don't think the argument in favour of mass education is limited to an economic interest; what effects do you think having an educated population brings upon other areas of society?

Does having a critically aware and engaged (the two don't always go hand in hand mind you ) electorate, for instance, reduces the chance of a self-serving government manipulating its way into power with subterfuge?
Does having an intelligent population help with issues like crime and punishment? How about things like Jury duty? Anyone seen the film 12 Angry Men? I'm sure anyone listening to the episode Serial - and the episode where they interview members of the Jury - at the moment will have a thought on this...
Intelligence does not come from education, and not all the population (indeed, only a small fraction of it) is intelligent enough or knowledgeable enough to benefit from a postgraduate education.
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Intelligence does not come from education, and not all the population (indeed, only a small fraction of it) is intelligent enough or knowledgeable enough to benefit from a postgraduate education.
you think 'intelligence' is innate?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
you think 'intelligence' is innate?
People obviously have intelligence before they receive education. If they didn't they would not be able to survive, and maybe wouldn't be able to absorb the education.

Dogs have intelligence, but not enough to be educated (as opposed to trained).
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by Good bloke)
People obviously have intelligence before they receive education. If they didn't they would not be able to survive, and maybe wouldn't be able to absorb the education.

Dogs have intelligence, but not enough to be educated (as opposed to trained).
So you think some people are born (much?) brighter than others?
You seem to think education is some kind of refinement process of an-already determined intelligence: have i read that right?

What's the difference between education and training in your book?
Sorry for all the questions but you've come out with quite a lot of assertions that haven't really been adequately explained...
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
So you think some people are born (much?) brighter than others?
You seem to think education is some kind of refinement process of an-already determined intelligence: have i read that right?
No. Education takes advantage of intelligence, to a significant degree. Almost all people can (and, of course, should) be taught to read and write but far fewer people have the intellectual capacity to learn the science involved in sending a rocket to Mars and spending the money on attempting to do so would be both futile and a waste. Intelligence definitely seems to have a genetic linkage.


What's the difference between education and training in your book?
That can best be answered by asking you to imagine that you are the father of a pre-pubescent girl. Would you rather she received sex education or sex training?
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by Good bloke)
No. Education takes advantage of intelligence, to a significant degree. Almost all people can (and, of course, should) be taught to read and write but far fewer people have the intellectual capacity to learn the science involved in sending a rocket to Mars and spending the money on attempting to do so would be both futile and a waste. Intelligence definitely seems to have a genetic linkage.


That can best be answered by asking you to imagine that you are the father of a pre-pubescent girl. Would you rather she received sex education or sex training?
First paragraph: is there any credible evidence for that? Or is it more likely that people born into an intellectually rich (not money-rich necessarily) class inherit and preserve the values of education? Also, I dispute your analogy of learning the science behind a rocket; it's a waste of resources to teach everyone that, yes, but that's because of the division of labour, not because some people couldn't be taught that per se. I think you're talking about a kind of advanced specialism that a. applies, and must apply, across kinds of professions b. doesn't really apply to my questions about critically aware and educated societies...


Second paragraph: So it's the difference between theory and practice?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
is it more likely that people born into an intellectually rich (not money-rich necessarily) class inherit and preserve the values of education?
My assertion is that one needs a certain level of intelligence before some kinds or levels of education can be effective. I exemplied this by reference to dogs (an extreme example, to make the point - you could use human examples too), which have intelligence, but not enough to benefit from or to make education effective.

I dispute your analogy of learning the science behind a rocket; it's a waste of resources to teach everyone that, yes, but that's because of the division of labour, not because some people couldn't be taught that per se.
Many people, indeed, probably a majority of people, couldn't be taught it.

Second paragraph: So it's the difference between theory and practice?
Partially. It's more about the difference between knowledge and skills.
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by Good bloke)
My assertion is that one needs a certain level of intelligence before some kinds or levels of education can be effective. I exemplied this by reference to dogs (an extreme example, to make the point - you could use human examples too), which have intelligence, but not enough to benefit from or to make education effective.



Many people, indeed, probably a majority of people, couldn't be taught it.



Partially. It's more about the difference between knowledge and skills.
( sorry i know this sounds bad because I work here but I dont know how to chop your quote down into bits :laugh:)

1. Yes, sure, but that sounds like you're talking about children, not adults?

2. Why don't you think they could be taught it? Because they aren't born with the necessary intelligence? You're not being clear on this point (and in any case, I've responded to the relevance of this point anyway)

3. Again, you'll have to expand because this feels really hazy. What is the difference?
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Klix88
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Wobbling dangerously back to the original topic....

The over 30s will still have access to the £10,000 (max) PCDL, so they won't be worse off than they are now. Beneath that age threshold, students won't be able to top up with a PCDL, as it specifically excludes courses for which there is already funding available. So even if you get the new Postgrad Tuition Fee Loan, your only real advantage is the more benign SF repayment Ts & Cs when compared with the PCDL commercially-based repayment regime. You still have to pay all of your living costs without further support.
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
( sorry i know this sounds bad because I work here but I dont know how to chop your quote down into bits :laugh:)
Try using the quote button, then cut and paste.
Yes, sure, but that sounds like you're talking about children, not adults?
Why? What I say applies to both.

Why don't you think they could be taught it? Because they aren't born with the necessary intelligence? You're not being clear on this point (and in any case, I've responded to the relevance of this point anyway)
Partly a lack of intelligence, or having the wrong kind of intelligence. You are being rather obtuse, but your general thrust seems to be to deny that the concept of intelligence is a valid one.

Again, you'll have to expand because this feels really hazy. What is the difference?
Surely you aren't asking me to explain the difference between knowledge and skills?
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SmaugTheTerrible
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As much as this is a good decision it equally raises questions of whether a masters degree will become devalued like undergraduate degrees.

At the moment, one of the main reasons for me doing a masters would be that it puts you a level above everyone else with an undergrad degree and makes you more employable. Also, you are very likely to get into a masters programme at a top University due to the lower number of applicants.

The only way I can see this going is thousands more do a masters degree making top Universities just as competitive at postgrad as they are at undergrad and reducing the value of a masters.

I would prefer to keep the masters degree from being devalued.
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by SmaugTheTerrible)
As much as this is a good decision it equally raises questions of whether a masters degree will become devalued like undergraduate degrees.

At the moment, one of the main reasons for me doing a masters would be that it puts you a level above everyone else with an undergrad degree and makes you more employable. Also, you are very likely to get into a masters programme at a top University due to the lower number of applicants.

The only way I can see this going is thousands more do a masters degree making top Universities just as competitive at postgrad as they are at undergrad and reducing the value of a masters.

I would prefer to keep the masters degree from being devalued.
again, this is a self-concerned way of viewing it - viewing education as a means to an end as opposed to something that should be available to as many people as possible because it makes society better.
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Josh_Dickson
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(Original post by Good bloke)
Try using the quote button, then cut and paste.


Why? What I say applies to both.



Partly a lack of intelligence, or having the wrong kind of intelligence. You are being rather obtuse, but your general thrust seems to be to deny that the concept of intelligence is a valid one.



Surely you aren't asking me to explain the difference between knowledge and skills?
hmm - i'm worried we've gone off course, possibly in part because my initial question wasn't answered.

I'm not denying intelligence as a valid concept, of course, I just want to know what your conception of it is. If you think it's a cut and dry one then surely it should be easy to explain?
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Good bloke
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(Original post by Josh_Dickson)
, I just want to know what your conception of it is. If you think it's a cut and dry one then surely it should be easy to explain?
If you think intelligence is easy to explain you haven't understood it, and this isn't the place.
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Snufkin
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(Original post by Klix88)
Wobbling dangerously back to the original topic....

The over 30s will still have access to the £10,000 (max) PCDL, so they won't be worse off than they are now. Beneath that age threshold, students won't be able to top up with a PCDL, as it specifically excludes courses for which there is already funding available. So even if you get the new Postgrad Tuition Fee Loan, your only real advantage is the more benign SF repayment Ts & Cs when compared with the PCDL commercially-based repayment regime. You still have to pay all of your living costs without further support.
That is still a rather big advantage.
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Airfairy
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(Original post by Eboracum)
This is interesting. Would you say this is the case at all universities? I wouldn't have thought the sort of Oxbridge/UCL/LSE/Durham type universities you are guaranteed a place with any 2:1 from any uni? Otherwise why would anyone do a postgraduate qualification at some of the newer universities? I was told the top unis are still very competitive.
Well, I would guess that it is harder at the higher ranking unis, yes. But I wouldn't say it is anywhere near as hard to get onto a masters at Oxbridge, for example, than an undergrad course.

I know someone from my uni who has gone on to do a masters at LSE, self funded, and she just walked into it. Yet she wouldn't have had a chance at getting on an undergrad programme at LSE.


(Original post by Klix88)
Wobbling dangerously back to the original topic....

The over 30s will still have access to the £10,000 (max) PCDL, so they won't be worse off than they are now. Beneath that age threshold, students won't be able to top up with a PCDL, as it specifically excludes courses for which there is already funding available. So even if you get the new Postgrad Tuition Fee Loan, your only real advantage is the more benign SF repayment Ts & Cs when compared with the PCDL commercially-based repayment regime. You still have to pay all of your living costs without further support.
Can I just clarify...at the moment, the CDL isn't the easiest to get is it? I mean, you have to make a case for how it will help your career?

Have we confirmed if the new tuition fee loan will be like this, or will it be more like undergrad where you can have it for anything without making a case?
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Jantaculum)
I'm not convinced that a Masters will provide you with those professional skills and make you more employable, actually, if a three-year Bachelors has failed to do so. I also think that 'investing in the young of today' has got this country into a LOT of financial difficulty.

But we're not going to agree so I'm going to provide an alternative suggestion. I have seen young people get their Bachelors degree, get a few years of experience under their belts, and then return to study for their Masters. In my opinion this is a pretty powerful combination - they can approach the Masters with confidence that they know what they are doing in their careers, and are at a prime place to be able to move forward for senior-level promotions. That is the sort of person that I think these loans should be targeted at, even if they happen to have hit 31.
I think that a lot of the youth did a degree relatively young and was not in the best position to choose a career-boosting degree. Hence, so many X Studies graduates. I that there will be more career-oriented applicants at masters level than at degree level.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Eboracum)
The idea is a terrific one in principle. What I find unfair is that some people on a four year joint undergrad and masters already get their masters funded, but somebody who was doing a separate 3 year undergrad then a one year masters is can not.

At the moment, a Masters is really only for the rich, as most people won't get funding. You can get career development loans but it is more risky than a student loan.

There are a few issues, the under 30 rule is harsh, as for undergrad you can get funding at any age, should have been the same. Also the £10k rule is harsh. A Masters at some of the top universities can cost 10k+ alone just for the course, which leaves you without funding for accommodation.

So it is a good start, and probably a policy to suit economic times, but I'd like to see it expanded by future governments.

The only bad thing you'd say is that Masters degrees may go the way of undergrads in terms of too many people have them. You've got 52%+ leaving school and doing undergrad now, I'd like to think a Masters degree made me one of the elite, rather than just something everyone had. But the positives of this policy outweigh the negatives.
I think you have to be realistic. The plan has not been tested so it makes sense to start it on a low sector of the population.
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QHF
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(Original post by Airfairy)
Well, I would guess that it is harder at the higher ranking unis, yes. But I wouldn't say it is anywhere near as hard to get onto a masters at Oxbridge, for example, than an undergrad course.
It depends on the course. The numbers for Oxford are available online and I just did some very rough-and-ready work with a calculator. The overall offer rate for postgraduate courses is around 23%, while the offer rate for undergraduate courses is about 19%. But both of those percentages hide a great deal of variation: for undergraduate courses you have things like a 42% offer rate for materials science and a 7% offer rate for economics and management. It's significantly 'easier' (if you think offer rate is a good proxy for that, which I'm not entirely sure about) to get in to study materials science at undergraduate level than it is to get in to study a taught masters in English, but significantly 'harder' to get in to do an E&M undergraduate degree.

At present departments over-offer on the understanding that some candidates will get offers they prefer elsewhere and others would like to accept but won't be able to afford to accept. This second factor, money, is less of a factor at undergraduate thanks to student loans. If loans for taught masters courses come in it will be interesting to see how that changes the offer and acceptance statistics. Though £10,000 doesn't sound like very much for programmes which have tuition fees at the higher end of the range.
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