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Intellectual elitism is what Uni should be about - not a means to educate everyone Watch

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    (Original post by Brit_Miller)
    It's his report card that made me ask for a source. It was quite a while ago, but I'm sure I remember seeing his report card and he actually did very well.

    In fact I just googled it to make sure, here's the card:
    I do believe that was the image in the book.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    but I'm sure you wouldn't advise a budding photographer to check out of school at 16 and sack off GCSEs in favour of portfolio-building.
    I'd give them the same advise as anyone who wanted to go into an artistic line of work - educate yourself to do something else as a fall-back. Until you've made a name for yourself in [photography/whatever else], your jobs in this may well be few and far between. So get another job in the meantime, one that you could live off if the photography falls through.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    so a meaningless piece of paper says "education is a right" - oh okay, I guess that means every african child is gonna get their healthy share of...oh.
    you know the UN can't actually enforce anything, right? it might as well just be an thuper thpecial advisory body, or more like the international naggers club
    Just because education isn't provided to some at present, it does not mean education should not be provided, which is what you suggest when you say education is a privilege. Countries in Africa cannot provide education because most of their economies cannot afford it.


    And yes I know the UN cannot enforce anything, but they are there to make sure people's rights are not infringed as much as they can. Without the UN, many countries would not feel obliged to look after their citizens.


    Oh and 192 countries would not have signed up to accord a 'meaningless piece of paper.' If you didn't know, the UN has bases all across the world and their commitments amount to more than words written on a page.
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    (Original post by alwayslearning1)
    Just because education isn't provided to some at present, it does not mean education should not be provided, which is what you suggest when you say education is a privilege. Countries in Africa cannot provide education because most of their economies cannot afford it.
    why should other people pay for other people's education, though? education is the means to more money, and it is not always successful, so why should a person pay for another's gamble like that? and really, education is a matter of interest as well; I wouldn't be studying my course right now unless I enjoyed it, so why should others pay for my enjoyment?


    And yes I know the UN cannot enforce anything, but they are there to make sure people's rights are not infringed as much as they can. Without the UN, many countries would not feel obliged to look after their citizens.
    ...kidding me? the UN may as well not even exist

    Oh and 192 countries would not have signed up to accord a 'meaningless piece of paper.' If you didn't know, the UN has bases all across the world and their commitments amount to more than words written on a page.
    believe me, dictatorships have belonged to the UN for a *very* long time
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    why should other people pay for other people's education, though?
    Because it changes the course of a country and humanity, speeding up the development of ways to improve life quality and therefore being the main way to spread what humans care the most about: happiness.

    If the guy will get paid during his efforts to improve the world, then what? Doesn't he deserve it? Just because it's enjoyable he has to do it by himself? No. It really doesn't matter whether he enjoys it or not, actually. People doing good things will get rewarded and people doing wrong things won't. That's how it's supposed to be (even though there's corruption and such, that's a whole another story). So if the guy enjoys it and it's productive... you really think he should not get some help just because he can't afford it? I'd rather not judge people I don't know, but you probably never had to wonder whether all your dedication was gonna be wasted just because you happen to be poor.

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    The old Polys (or any establishment for that matter) shouldn't be allowed to hold university status unless it upholds a certain level of quality. Stupid, mickey mouse degrees should be abolished, should be the likes of STEM, medicine, law, classics, the better of the humanities etc that remain. Further encourage other options for after A-levels. Basically try to pull it down so a lot less people are going to university.

    As far as expense goes though, with our current system people just need to run the figures. People who are opposed just shout about the huge amounts of money that don't get repaid without considering the actual benefit to the state. For one, the interest means that you don't have to pay back fully to have covered your initial expense. More importantly, however, is the higher earnings. Given the current system, not accounting for the fact that the average income for those without degrees is going to be lower than the national mean income, instead treating the national mean as the baseline, a graduate only has to earn about £1000 above that average income (making various assumptions along the way, of course) when they start work to offset any remaining expense when the loan is written off via income tax.

    For example. With a 50 year working life, RPI at 4%, CPI and annual pay rise both at 3%, about 111k is written off the loan, however this actually only translates into an expense of £4,763 because so much interest was added. From this you can trivially see that a slightly higher income would have lead to the graduate paying back more than they borrowed, despite still having a very substantial outstanding loan. At the time of retirement inflation would have brough this sum of £4,763 up to £8,862, however, that slightly higher starting wage (£29,500 vs the average of £28,957) means that they have paid, over their lifetime and inflation adjusted, £23,099.97 more income tax than the average, leading to a grand total of £14,237.94 profit to the state.
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    (Original post by frith27)
    Blah STEM STEM blah. You'd think from reading TSR that only STEM students actually gain graduate jobs.

    There are some ridiculous degrees but take what I've studied, Economics. Regarded as a solid discipline with a significant weighting towards Maths, Statistics and Econometrics while at the same time requiring you to be proficient in essay writing. Plenty of Economics graduates have high paid jobs, just like every other discipline.

    Despite this it's a social science, something that some STEM students would look down on and lump it with business studies and finance.
    I think lots of economics students think economics degrees are pretty useless too.
    ( remember Manchester University? )
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    (Original post by RocketCiaranJ)
    The system you suggest would result in an affluence and social class divide. In order to ensure that only the most passionate and intellectually gifted reach University, harsh admission processes must be enacted - similar to those in place at Oxbridge. And, what do we have at Oxbridge? A class divide; and it does exist. Why? Why, because the private schools provide kids with a much fuller, and more respected education (IGCSEs, rather than GCSEs, for example); consequently making it much simpler for the richest to access the top universities, being better qualified. Allowing only to most qualified, and those that appear to be the most intellectual, to attend, is to make University for the rich, and mediacracy for the poor.
    While it is true that this is an issue, there is no fair way to weed out the most intelligent. For example, an impoverished Michael Faraday was never allowed into any formal education, due to his simple inability to keep up with his privately educated, more affluent peers. Nonetheless, he discovered electromagnetism.
    Your system is a replica of an older one, and would not only create a divide at Universities and, consequently, in society, but also result in us preventing the next Faraday from discovering the next E=mc^2.
    Cambridge university has a "flag' system to remind admissions / interviewing tutors of the importance of the educational, economic etc. background of potential students. So, for example, if you have ever been in care, your application will receive a flag. This is a praiseworthy attempt to measure 'distance travelled' and potential not just the presenting academic results. The details are up on their site.

    They constantly complain that they offer places in almost direct proportion to the numbers who apply from private and state schools:the inference being that if more state pupils applied more might get in. I think this is right.

    Incidentally they also have a comprehensive award system so students from poorer backgrounds will receive substantial extra grants, several thousand a year, making it cheaper for them to go to Cambridge than many other universities. They also provide film of mock interviews so that students have some idea of what to expect.

    The Sutton Trust ( I think) has research to show that private schooling may improve A level grades by half a grade but this may be as a result of 'spoon feeding'. State school pupils do better, A level grade for grade, at university than their private school contemporaries. This may reflect the fact that state school,pupils have to have qualified teachers? are taught better overall, rather than just crammed? and so are better prepared for the rigours of Higher Education?
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    Under the science part, I'm sure social sciences are include therefore economics and such are. They're useful jobs.

    However I don't think media, english, photography and dance can be justified for the taxpayer footing the bill
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    (Original post by pickup)
    Cambridge university has a "flag' system to remind admissions / interviewing tutors of the importance of the educational, economic etc. background of potential students. So, for example, if you have ever been in care, your application will receive a flag. This is a praiseworthy attempt to measure 'distance travelled' and potential not just the presenting academic results. The details are up on their site.

    They constantly complain that they offer places in almost direct proportion to the numbers who apply from private and state schools:the inference being that if more state pupils applied more might get in. I think this is right.

    Incidentally they also have a comprehensive award system so students from poorer backgrounds will receive substantial extra grants, several thousand a year, making it cheaper for them to go to Cambridge than many other universities. They also provide film of mock interviews so that students have some idea of what to expect.

    The Sutton Trust ( I think) has research to show that private schooling may improve A level grades by half a grade but this may be as a result of 'spoon feeding'. State school pupils do better, A level grade for grade, at university than their private school contemporaries. This may reflect the fact that state school,pupils have to have qualified teachers? are taught better overall, rather than just crammed? and so are better prepared for the rigours of Higher Education?
    I never said that Oxbridge doesn't attempt to settle this social divide. I was discussing the system of intellectual elitism; and the divide that might result from this. True, if such a system were to emulate Oxbridge in their entrance procedure, the process may become fair. The problem, however, is that not all Universities would.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    It is very noticeable that almost the only people calling for a reduction in higher education are young people who believe (not necessarily rightly) that they would still be entering higher education in any more restrictive system. You will not find any political party, employers' organisation, trades union or universities calling for this. In other words this is a call for the entrenchment of a monopolistic privilege in favour of those seeking the change.
    I don't necessarily agree. I more or less fit your description - someone who thinks far fewer people should be admitted to higher education, but probably would still be admitted myself - and it is highly probable that I would have earned more money if I had been excluded from higher education. Possibly a lot more.

    After correcting for aptitude, generalist education simply doesn't pay off. It just selects people who were already better than others, and pins a badge on them. Those people tend to do better than others, but they would have done anyway. Often the eduction system itself funnels them down a path that is not particularly rewarding but in which they now have a lot of non-transferable experience.

    I think the wider access movements have much more to do with pinning the badge on more people, so that they can feel themselves part of the expanded middle class, than solving any practical economic or social problem.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    The Labour government (and, if fact, previous Tory government) saw the opening up of higher education as a way to please a lot of their aspiring-to-be-middle-class voters without any real system changes in how we undertake compulsory education (because it would mean an admission that the current comprehensive system is a postcode lottery that fails far more than it helps).
    This is pretty spot on. Both the New Labour government and its predecessor Tory government (and likely the current government too) put forth a vision of a classless Britain. Encouraging more people to attain degrees is one of the ways in which they feel this goal can be achieved.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I don't necessarily agree. I more or less fit your description - someone who thinks far fewer people should be admitted to higher education, but probably would still be admitted myself - and it is highly probable that I would have earned more money if I had been excluded from higher education. Possibly a lot more.

    After correcting for aptitude, generalist education simply doesn't pay off. It just selects people who were already better than others, and pins a badge on them. Those people tend to do better than others, but they would have done anyway. Often the eduction system itself funnels them down a path that is not particularly rewarding but in which they now have a lot of non-transferable experience.

    I think the wider access movements have much more to do with pinning the badge on more people, so that they can feel themselves part of the expanded middle class, than solving any practical economic or social problem.
    You have quoted my first paragraph but have overlooked my second. I am not that we are saying much that is different You are sceptical of the economic benefit education. I say that too many people are going to university and that many who do go, are reading the wrong subjects.

    That isn't what the OP and those who agree with him are saying. They are saying that there is an economic prize from a traditional academic education; that this prize is being diluted by letting too many people go to university and that prize should be reserved for those who (nominally) get the best school grades but (covertly) those who go to the best schools. That argument on TSR is frequently coupled with the suggestion that the general body of taxpayers should bear of greater proportion of the costs of educating that elite.

    That is a siren call down the ages. It is the defence of the Old Corruption; it is the argument of the Second Estate. But it is invariably only the call of those who directly benefit.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You have quoted my first paragraph but have overlooked my second. I am not that we are saying much that is different You are sceptical of the economic benefit education. I say that too many people are going to university and that many who do go, are reading the wrong subjects.

    That isn't what the OP and those who agree with him are saying. They are saying that there is an economic prize from a traditional academic education; that this prize is being diluted by letting too many people go to university and that prize should be reserved for those who (nominally) get the best school grades but (covertly) those who go to the best schools. That argument on TSR is frequently coupled with the suggestion that the general body of taxpayers should bear of greater proportion of the costs of educating that elite.

    That is a siren call down the ages. It is the defence of the Old Corruption; it is the argument of the Second Estate. But it is invariably only the call of those who directly benefit.
    Spot on.
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    I disagree (as a STEM student)

    TSR is full of really self-entitled students in STEMs field, who literally think that getting a job will be so easy for them, the government should cut almost all funding for non-STEM subjects and just eliminate all fees for their field. The current system for all it's imperfections, says to people, you think you can get a job after studying media studies/English literature/ chemical engineering/golf studies we'll give you the loan, go out and prove it to us. Deeming some subjects worthy and others unworthy is a kind of totalitarian social planning as opposed to the almost free market model we have.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    It is very noticeable that almost the only people calling for a reduction in higher education are young people who believe (not necessarily rightly) that they would still be entering higher education in any more restrictive system. You will not find any political party, employers' organisation, trades union or universities calling for this. In other words this is a call for the entrenchment of a monopolistic privilege in favour of those seeking the change.

    Personally, I think too many people are entering higher education and that many are entering to read the wrong things, but I think that is because of lack of market awareness. I think both schools and universities contribute to misleading young people about job prospects.
    This is so true it's unreal

    TSR people are arguing for a system which they will call meritocratic or which favours the most intelligent, but strip it down, they want the taxpayer to fund their middle class lifestyles and simply see any kind of egalitarianism as competition for this.
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    (Original post by Jubz1)
    Under the science part, I'm sure social sciences are include therefore economics and such are. They're useful jobs.

    However I don't think media, english, photography and dance can be justified for the taxpayer footing the bill
    Universities are about education not just getting a job.

    Arguably it is equally important for the population to know about what previous generations have said about life ( English Lit). In this way they broaden their understanding, both literally and emotionally, of other people and themselves and can make more informed choices in their lives. All arts subjects help with this and are desperately important.

    There is a school of thought that says the problem with some of our leaders is that they precisely don't have this knowledge, the ability to empathise with others as they are damaged people who have been sent away from their families at too young an age. Who can think that packing your 6 year old off to boarding school is a good idea?

    I'm sure Mr Murdoch doesn't want anyone to study media either.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    You have quoted my first paragraph but have overlooked my second. I am not that we are saying much that is different You are sceptical of the economic benefit education. I say that too many people are going to university and that many who do go, are reading the wrong subjects.

    That isn't what the OP and those who agree with him are saying. They are saying that there is an economic prize from a traditional academic education; that this prize is being diluted by letting too many people go to university and that prize should be reserved for those who (nominally) get the best school grades but (covertly) those who go to the best schools. That argument on TSR is frequently coupled with the suggestion that the general body of taxpayers should bear of greater proportion of the costs of educating that elite.

    That is a siren call down the ages. It is the defence of the Old Corruption; it is the argument of the Second Estate. But it is invariably only the call of those who directly benefit.
    My point is distinct: that university isn't socially useful for many of those going today, regardless of what they study. That actually applies also to many of the top students. You said that the only people who want to narrow access are doing so because they will financially benefit, which I don't think is true in my case.
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    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    ...kidding me? the UN may as well not even exist
    This is not a reply. You have not given any reasons for your viewpoint and as such I will not consider it.

    (Original post by zippity.doodah)
    believe me, dictatorships have belonged to the UN for a *very* long time
    Yes, I do not dispute that, but other countries that may have turned into dictatorships were stopped by the UN Security Council Forces and international co-operation, most recently Sudan, Serbiaa and the Central African Republic.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    My point is distinct: that university isn't socially useful for many of those going today, regardless of what they study. That actually applies also to many of the top students. You said that the only people who want to narrow access are doing so because they will financially benefit, which I don't think is true in my case.
    But are you saying people shouldn't go to unversity (which is consistant with my point) or that they shouldn't be allowed to go to university?
 
 
 
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