Should we get rid of weaker universities?

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    I think you have to look at the value of the specific course you are doing.

    Shipping and Port Managment @ Solent Uni is listed on a post here as one of the top 10 joke degrees in the country. Trouble is only 3 uni's in the country run this degree, Plymouth, Solent and Liverpool.

    When I did my research though I found this degree has an excellent employment rate and the average student earns more than the lecturer in less than three years after leaving.
    Ironically the degree at Solent is regarded as better than plymouth!

    This is because some of the smaller uni's which were 'technical colleges' have built incredible strong links with industry over time, the government has introduced maritime apprentiships over the last couple of years because maritime services are leaving the country rapidly. This is despite the fact that only 4 students on my course at Solent were British and about 6 at Plymouth.

    Personally I think of you were to only keep the top 50 Unis you would seriously loose out on some really valuable courses that just couldnt be emulated over night by the big guys. Im at Plymouth currently and they cringe when you say 'Solent', because as a uni its embarrasing for them but they consistantly do everything they can to emulate what goes on there. Its going to take them another 10 years to get there though.

    My classmates at Solent were sons (and a couple of daughters) of CEOs, Admirals and even a blatent Georgian gangster. Russians, greeks, norweigens, georgians, khazakstanis, Syrians, etc etc etc. And these guys choose Solent over Plymouth, they walk around in their £1000 pair of shoes in a **** uni because the value of the course there far exceeds the competiton.

    A better idea would be to do what the Chinese do and offer young people courses that will benefit them and employers (synergy!), train people in skills that are needed. Get rid of the 500 guys at solent doing football studies and invest in the good courses, you have to sort the wheat from the chaff on a very basic level or you'll be activly damaging world renown services that this country offers.

    If anyone is thinking about a business degree you cant go wrong with this one it's GOLD, and the calibre of people you study with is incredible.

    SAVE THE **** UNI'S! They may not be the wasters you think they are.
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    (Original post by yudothis)
    Did I say intellectual endeavor or research?

    And you just proved my point. There were jobs that needed people with a certain knowledge. What is it now? Everyone and his dog going to uni and there is no actual need for them. University is being abused as a signal.
    What we are doing is what we have been doing for 300 years; we are stripping the economy of jobs that can be done by children.

    As a result we now need to "park" children of 18-21 whom we do not consider appropriate to do many of the jobs that are now being created in the economy.


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    (Original post by DraculaMihawk)
    I have never understood why suddenly it's everyone's God given right to go to university, I don't believe it is. I believe if you reach a certain standard of academic excellence, then you get... are better off being vocational technical colleges and should be free or have lower tuition fees.
    May I ask what you think about more non-traditional degrees like nursing?

    You can no longer qualify as a nurse without obtaining a degree. Let me be clear, I will be attending a Russel Group University to study nursing this year (which has a 100% employment or further study rate after graduation) and looked at several universities before doing so and I agree with you. The older, previously polytechnic Unis have poor teaching standards for even these degrees, and many people consider nursing to not be a "proper" degree.

    I actually feel as though this is dangerous because I will do significantly more hours of study with significantly more scientific underpinning than many other unis. I feel this would be detrimental to patients- nurses with no detailed knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pharmacology is crazy to me. In short, my degree will get me professional accreditation with significantly more work than its counterparts at metropolitan and previously polytechnic unis.

    The average grade offer for nursing is BBB I got AAA (chemistry, maths and English A-Levels +AS physics) does this irritate you that someone with good A-Levels in very academic subjects would pursue a more non-traditional degree like nursing?

    Does it irritate you that most RG universities offer degrees in nursing, and does this add to the "god given right to go to uni" problem you explain in your OP?
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    (Original post by DraculaMihawk)
    Higher education was never a human right, it's an achievement and is not compulsory. If you work hard and get the grades you get to go, if you slack off and get into a low-tier university and study something like games and designs, perhaps you should reconsider your stance. Those people who want to take David Beckham studies should do so in a technical college where they have to pay less. What is so bad about the solution I'm providing?
    But it SHOULD be. If we want a more educated society that moves forward socially and technologically wise.
    I do hope you never get into a position of power. With you views society would go downhill.
    Who says someone with CCC hasn't worked hard? (I did better than that at A level before anyone suggests anything) that's their achievement for their academic level. They should be able to go on to do what they please, because you know we should have the freedom to better ourselves in this country.
    The world would be a bit more boring without games and designs. There is a place for almost every subject. David Beckham studies is something else.
    I can see a problem with the 'solution' you are providing if polys are cheaper. Those from poorer backgrounds will likely be forced to go there rather than a higher ranking uni which is what they are fully capable of due to what the family can afford. This could make it harder for them to break the poverty cycle. Haven't thought about that have you.


    (Original post by JohnGreek)
    I love these types of arguments:

    <assert something is a human right>
    <job done>
    (Original post by Josb)
    Higher education is certainly not a human right.
    In order to advance the world's society it certainly should be. Be bright and think forward.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    UMIST had a funny status for most of its existence and the merger was rather seen as the finding of a long lost relative rather than a shotgun marriage which is perhaps why it worked.
    It's probably nice to meet up with your brothers and sisters who've been living in Australia and take them out for a meal... but you don't necessarily have to eat them.

    An interesting quirk is that the merged uni has dropped in the league tables

    The Telegraphs table of tables in 2003 had Manchester 10th and UMIST 21st (though in the employers ranking that year UMIST was 2nd and Manchester 4th)
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...he-league.html

    You can still unearth threads on TSR where people are talking about the forthcoming merger.
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    (Original post by Strawberry68)
    But it SHOULD be. If we want a more educated society that moves forward socially and technologically wise.
    I do hope you never get into a position of power. With you views society would go downhill.
    Who says someone with CCC hasn't worked hard? (I did better than that at A level before anyone suggests anything) that's their achievement for their academic level. They should be able to go on to do what they please, because you know we should have the freedom to better ourselves in this country.
    The world would be a bit more boring without games and designs. There is a place for almost every subject. David Beckham studies is something else.
    I can see a problem with the 'solution' you are providing if polys are cheaper. Those from poorer backgrounds will likely be forced to go there rather than a higher ranking uni which is what they are fully capable of due to what the family can afford. This could make it harder for them to break the poverty cycle. Haven't thought about that have you.






    In order to advance the world's society it certainly should be. Be bright and think forward.
    If everyone is entitled to a degree there has to be jobs at the end that pay enough to pay back the student loan, otherwise you create massive unpayable debt in society.

    Fact is the jobs that need people desperetely are low paid service jobs, care, police etc. So if you educate everyone to a higher level who does these essential roles in society? Thats not foward thinking at all, its idealistic.
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    (Original post by Strawberry68)
    But it SHOULD be. If we want a more educated society that moves forward socially and technologically wise.
    I do hope you never get into a position of power. With you views society would go downhill.
    Who says someone with CCC hasn't worked hard? (I did better than that at A level before anyone suggests anything) that's their achievement for their academic level. They should be able to go on to do what they please, because you know we should have the freedom to better ourselves in this country.
    The world would be a bit more boring without games and designs. There is a place for almost every subject. David Beckham studies is something else.
    I can see a problem with the 'solution' you are providing if polys are cheaper. Those from poorer backgrounds will likely be forced to go there rather than a higher ranking uni which is what they are fully capable of due to what the family can afford. This could make it harder for them to break the poverty cycle. Haven't thought about that have you.






    In order to advance the world's society it certainly should be. Be bright and think forward.
    We seem to be going round in circles here. I have not said that education should not be a human right or should be. Their are some that have been pulled into this strawman.

    I think education should be something that we fund, and a right for those that are serious and working hard for education. What I am disputing is institutions that do not provide value for money and do not hold students to a high standard. If a university can hold students to a high standard and provide value for money then I am all for that.

    However a lot of polytechnics do not achieve this. Note because people like been pedantic Yes I am sure there will be a few poly Technics that achieve this or offer subjects where this applies. I am fully aware of that. However there are a lot more that do not and this is a real problem.
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    Keeping the top 50 universities may work well with more mainstream degrees but what about specialist universities? The Royal Veterinary College is solely dedicated to providing qualified workers for the veterinary sector. But on overall university league tables will not appear very high due to the small number of students and courses offered.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    We seem to be going round in circles here. I have not said that education should not be a human right or should be. Their are some that have been pulled into this strawman.

    I think education should be something that we fund, and a right for those that are serious and working hard for education. What I am disputing is institutions that do not provide value for money and do not hold students to a high standard. If a university can hold students to a high standard and provide value for money then I am all for that.

    However a lot of polytechnics do not achieve this. Note because people like been pedantic Yes I am sure there will be a few poly Technics that achieve this or offer subjects where this applies. I am fully aware of that. However there are a lot more that do not and this is a real problem.
    Yeah exactly, one of the worst practices (imo) is posting videos and lectures online afterwards. Students dont even have to go to the bloody uni!
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    (Original post by r4dly)
    Yeah exactly, one of the worst practices (imo) is posting videos and lectures online afterwards. Students dont even have to go to the bloody uni!
    This can be highly useful though? While you may attend lectures and make superb notes it may be listening back to the lecture that truly helps it sink in. Sure there will be some that completely abuse the practice by just not attending but they're *hopefully* a minority?
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    The same can be applied to lots of education and training facilities. As an ex Professional Dancer I can tell you there are far too many Performing Arts schools training far too many students who want to become dancers. There just isn't the work for them all. Yes, funding is different as at schools which are accredited by the Council for Dance Education and Training you are entitled to a Music and Dance Scheme award so fees are paid. But unless you are at the top schools like the Royal Ballet School, Elmhurst, Hammond, Northern Ballet School etc you just aren't going to get work when you are competing at auditions with 60 other people, often from overseas. And even then out of those, only the Royal has a 100 percent Graduate employment rate.
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    (Original post by VMD100)
    This can be highly useful though? While you may attend lectures and make superb notes it may be listening back to the lecture that truly helps it sink in. Sure there will be some that completely abuse the practice by just not attending but they're *hopefully* a minority?

    I found a minority did this at the start of the year but as time goes on more and more people don't turn up. It is a great facilty but i think if you want the lecture online you should have attended originally or go to the lecturer and justify your absence. More like a full time job with mutual obligation as someone else suggested on this thread.
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    (Original post by r4dly)
    I found a minority did this at the start of the year but as time goes on more and more people don't turn up. It is a great facilty but i think if you want the lecture online you should have attended originally or go to the lecturer and justify your absence. More like a full time job with mutual obligation as someone else suggested on this thread.
    True, perhaps having each lecture password protected which you could only get by either going to the lecture or emailing the tutor explaining your absence would work. Though I'm sure people would rapidly find ways to cheat this also.
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    (Original post by r4dly)
    I think you have to look at the value of the specific course you are doing.

    Shipping and Port Managment @ Solent Uni is listed on a post here as one of the top 10 joke degrees in the country. Trouble is only 3 uni's in the country run this degree, Plymouth, Solent and Liverpool.

    When I did my research though I found this degree has an excellent employment rate and the average student earns more than the lecturer in less than three years after leaving.
    Ironically the degree at Solent is regarded as better than plymouth!

    This is because some of the smaller uni's which were 'technical colleges' have built incredible strong links with industry over time, the government has introduced maritime apprentiships over the last couple of years because maritime services are leaving the country rapidly. This is despite the fact that only 4 students on my course at Solent were British and about 6 at Plymouth.

    Personally I think of you were to only keep the top 50 Unis you would seriously loose out on some really valuable courses that just couldnt be emulated over night by the big guys. Im at Plymouth currently and they cringe when you say 'Solent', because as a uni its embarrasing for them but they consistantly do everything they can to emulate what goes on there. Its going to take them another 10 years to get there though.

    My classmates at Solent were sons (and a couple of daughters) of CEOs, Admirals and even a blatent Georgian gangster. Russians, greeks, norweigens, georgians, khazakstanis, Syrians, etc etc etc. And these guys choose Solent over Plymouth, they walk around in their £1000 pair of shoes in a **** uni because the value of the course there far exceeds the competiton.

    A better idea would be to do what the Chinese do and offer young people courses that will benefit them and employers (synergy!), train people in skills that are needed. Get rid of the 500 guys at solent doing football studies and invest in the good courses, you have to sort the wheat from the chaff on a very basic level or you'll be activly damaging world renown services that this country offers.

    If anyone is thinking about a business degree you cant go wrong with this one it's GOLD, and the calibre of people you study with is incredible.

    SAVE THE **** UNI'S! They may not be the wasters you think they are.
    You've got a point wrt specialisms... but those internationals are probably going to end up being the minister of shipping because of their family connections aren't they? Doesn't follow that it'll be as beneficial for UK students.
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    (Original post by Strawberry68)
    In order to advance the world's society it certainly should be. Be bright and think forward.
    Erm, no. Unconditionally promoting education as an end in itself is dangerous when it's being paid for by the government with money that could be diverted elsewhere.

    I think the point that OP made is that we should have enough education to make sure that the high-skilled jobs in an economy are supplied for, and that we should have lower ranking colleges focus on the technical faculties they are good at and merge with better ones. I very much doubt that education is better every single time, particularly when it can be so easily replaced by cheaper courses (like those offered by the OU) or free ones (like MOOCs), that also have the advantage of being even more specialised and flexible.

    To put forth an example, society and the economy needs an Oxford Brookes Motorsport Engineer a lot more than an Oxford Brookes English Lit. graduate, and yet both will be taking out loans in excess of £30k to pay for their degrees. This is at a time when the graduate premium is disappearing across the country. Is promoting university as the default option for everyone worth the cost?
    Spoiler:
    Show
    P.S. You asserted that education is a human right, not that it should be one.
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    In my opinion, the best solution would be to increase interest rates according to your university. No interest-free loans for students attending a university outside the top 50 (or whatever your arbitrary number is). As the ranking of the uni goes down and down, the interest rate goes higher. And the student pays the interest and the loan, not the university or the taxpayers. This will certainly make the student think twice about going to these second rate unis like you call them, and also force the university to raise their standards; they know that unis in the top 50 or whatever will be better placed to attract more students, now that there are more financial incentives for the students. If the student just wants a piece of paper for a degree, he/she is going to have to pay a lot more which is going to reduce its worth.
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    (Original post by pinkisthefloyd)
    In my opinion, the best solution would be to increase interest rates according to your university. No interest-free loans for students attending a university outside the top 50 (or whatever your arbitrary number is). As the ranking of the uni goes down and down, the interest rate goes higher. And the student pays the interest and the loan, not the university or the taxpayers. This will certainly make the student think twice about going to these second rate unis like you call them, and also force the university to raise their standards; they know that unis in the top 50 or whatever will be better placed to attract more students, now that there are more financial incentives for the students. If the student just wants a piece of paper for a degree, he/she is going to have to pay a lot more which is going to reduce its worth.
    Future Conservative PM?
    University is expensive enough as it is, especially for those doing 5 year courses. Raising entrance qualifications not fees is surely a better way to increase university output.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    I specifically said there will be exceptions. General studies is an A level you can get with general knowledge or just due to been good at blagging/essay writing. You can get it with little to no work. universities that accept it are basically saying we want to look like we are good and have grade requirements but we don't really so put that their to make it easier to get the grades.

    in the past some Russel group universities have accepted General studies, though the vast majority will not. This is why I said it as a general rule and specifically acknowledged there would be exceptions.

    I think it depends what your range of other factors is. Been close to home/ further away from home is fine because some students want to be with their family others want independence and that is an acceptable choice.

    Choosing a university based the course or course content is also a very important factor.

    So is the actual city area etc I get that.

    When I apply I am not getting funding it will be fully self funded so I have to consider price points. Cambridge charge college fees, I really think with my academic past that it is highly unlikely anyway but because there are just so many things right with it I would have to find a way of making it work.

    However a few London universities become more of a choice because I have to take into account that London is significantly more expensive. London has its advantages though with so many things around the city.

    If I chose to go to a slightly lower caliber university rather than one of the London ones due to costs than that is not such bad reasoning. If however I chose to go to a slightly lower caliber London university for the advantages of London that too would be okay.

    The thing is though by slightly lower caliber I mean just that slightly lower not abysmal. Not way lower.

    I think that higher education should be a full time Job. Such that individuals with an IQ of 115-130 would need to work 30+ hours a week to get a 2:1. If some individuals who have an IQ below 115 are determined and are willing to put 50+ hours a week to get there then I am for that.
    What should not be happening is individuals with an IQ of 90 been able to scrape by on 20 or less hours a week and individuals with an IQ of 120 ish been able to get away with less than 10.

    obviously you sometimes get those with an IQ of 150+ at this point you have an actual genius and I guess their is the possibility that they could get away with part time hours when their peers in the range of 115-130 are putting in full time hours. In that situation it is not because the course lacks depth or challenge it is just because they are brilliant.

    just things have value based on how hard they are to obtain. If a degree is something that can be attained by the average Joe putting in little to no effort than guess what it is not worth that much.

    If it is your own money and you are fully aware that you are going to a university that has very poor standards and are happy with that then who am i or anyone else to judge that?

    The problem is though that a lot of time those points do not apply. It is not your money often it is the taxpayers and if you think it is okay for the tax payer to pay for you to basically take the piss at university then that is absurd. You only pay it back if you earn over a certain amount. If you end up earning that salary and paying it back but were poorly served by the degree, then you are paying back a massive loan for something that was of little value to hardly fair. If you do not know what little value the university offers in terms of value and find yourself in such debt that is hardly a fair scenario.

    As for getting jobs etc actually Degrees from Russel group universities do give you a higher probability of employment, with higher average life time earnings.
    Yeah I do completely agree tbh, but again there are exceptions, like I could have got into Leicester, Liverpool or Sussex easily by taking a gap year or through clearing this year it I still ended up with De Montfort and hardly think this will hinder me in the future judging by what most are telling me.

    But then again I agree with you about the margin, there's a difference between an respectable uni the still fine midtable ones like De Montfort, Keele and Swansea and the **** ones so yeah your pretty much right
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    You've got a point wrt specialisms... but those internationals are probably going to end up being the minister of shipping because of their family connections aren't they? Doesn't follow that it'll be as beneficial for UK students.
    Thats whats so sad, these are OUR services, we invented most of the shipping services and maritime law is based on admiralty law, its all UK. There are a handfull of other credible maritime insitutes around the world but honestly the best eduation and the best jobs are right here, for whatever reason British people just dont pick up on it so these guys take it all abroad.

    I personally have benefited and ive got a job in Amsterdam/Rotterdam next year. One of the other British guys is going on the Sea Sheppard this October for a year.

    If you wanted to go London and be a clarksons shipbroker for $$$$$$$ you can, they are even running their own apprentiships this year as they cant get qualified people.

    I dont know about other really niche couses but this one will earn you money, red bricks or no red bricks.
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    Love how people are coming together and completely dismantling this guy's proposal with well established evidence and pelting him with very good questions. Completely disagree with his idea.
 
 
 
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