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#61
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#61
(Original post by Pencil Queen)
Well you're ok then - the title university is (at present) only granted to institutions capable of awarding research degrees...and the white paper only proposes granting the title to teaching facilities of the highest standard (and not vocationally based places).
Which means that former Polytechnics, for example, now offer so-called degrees, instead of what were once respected vocational courses, and they now qualify as Universities. What was wrong with having a difference between Polytechnics and Universities in the first place?
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PQ
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#62
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#62
(Original post by Lurker)
Which means that former Polytechnics, for example, now offer so-called degrees, instead of what were once respected vocational courses, and they now qualify as Universities. What was wrong with having a difference between Polytechnics and Universities in the first place?
I know that the main justification for changing them was because poly's were chronically underfunded while trying to (to some extent) offer the same services as the old uni's.

For the full rationalle though you'd have to ask the torys.

I personally feel that the unification of the HE system done in 1992 actually added a *lot* of energy and change into a very stagnant system - it took an expansion of the marketplace to actually bring the old fashioned uni's into the modern world. Since 1992 the *management* of universities has increased incredibly, instead of just some academics bumbilng along managing in their spare time suddenly there were HE professionals dedicated to getting the processes and systems in universities organised.

The ex-poly's do all offer research degrees which has giving a huge boost to the research sector - increases in both funding and staff numbers and quality.

And there is still a differentiation between a university and an HE college
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#63
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#63
(Original post by Pencil Queen)
I know that the main justification for changing them was because poly's were chronically underfunded while trying to (to some extent) offer the same services as the old uni's.

For the full rationalle though you'd have to ask the torys.

I personally feel that the unification of the HE system done in 1992 actually added a *lot* of energy and change into a very stagnant system - it took an expansion of the marketplace to actually bring the old fashioned uni's into the modern world. Since 1992 the *management* of universities has increased incredibly, instead of just some academics bumbilng along managing in their spare time suddenly there were HE professionals dedicated to getting the processes and systems in universities organised.

The ex-poly's do all offer research degrees which has giving a huge boost to the research sector - increases in both funding and staff numbers and quality.

And there is still a differentiation between a university and an HE college
I can certainly respect your opinion that the unification of HE institutes made a big difference to a previously stagnant system, since you definately know more about that than I do.

But I simply can't see why a BSc in Physics from Imperial should come under the same official heading as a BSc in Hairdressing Science and Retail Distribution. (Offered at one place which is officially a University, not a HE college). The course description for the hairdressing course says it's "designed for students who wish to enter the hairdressing and retail profession at management level". Clearly a heavily vocational course then - so why must it be a BSc?
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PQ
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#64
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#64
(Original post by Lurker)
so why must it be a BSc?
(ps I don't like this answer it's just the truth as I see it)

Marketing.

Derby has degree awarding powers, therefore so long as it doesn't do anything too daft they can award whatever they like for whatever course they like. One of the problems that the government mentions in the white paper is the fact that students (and some employers) simply don't respect HNDs and HNCs...and so growth in those courses is minimal (which is why they've rebranded HNDs as Foundation Degrees). Derby know that they will get more applicants wanting to study their course if they get a BSc in the end...so that's what they offer.

However it's worth re-emphasising the first sentence in the previous paragraph - they can't be totally silly and all degrees *are* externally moderated...I would expect the course in question to contain a significant amount of management science and a significant amount of chemistry (albeit specifically related to hair products). Otherwise it wouldn't be a *Sc...the quality of the graduates *in their field* must be of a similar quality to the physics graduates from imperial *in physics* for it to be a B*. But by choosing a very limited field the university makes attaining that quality more straightforward.
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Mark_KK
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#65
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#65
Interesting points there PQ.
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Lurker
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#66
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#66
(Original post by Pencil Queen)
(ps I don't like this answer it's just the truth as I see it)

Marketing.

Derby has degree awarding powers, therefore so long as it doesn't do anything too daft they can award whatever they like for whatever course they like.
Of course a University will take advantage of powers to market their courses - but they shouldn't be allowed to. Of course, nobody's going to stop them, since the government is so keen on convincing everybody that their education is worth nothing unless they finish it off with some kind of degree.
I know people who did a degree in, for one example, Media in a below average University, thinking they'd end up in television and have found that they now have the same job prospects they had before they spent 3 years getting into debt.

(Original post by Pencil Queen)
One of the problems that the government mentions in the white paper is the fact that students (and some employers) simply don't respect HNDs and HNCs...and so growth in those courses is minimal (which is why they've rebranded HNDs as Foundation Degrees). Derby know that they will get more applicants wanting to study their course if they get a BSc in the end...so that's what they offer.
What they need to do in that case is do more to raise the image of HND's, not lower the image of degrees. Having said which, I think there should also be more encouragement towards apprenticeships. I know they aren't always available, as you pointed out earlier with the butcher, but due to the image of HE the government is presenting right now, many people wouldn't even think of training in a job.

(Original post by Pencil Queen)
However it's worth re-emphasising the first sentence in the previous paragraph - they can't be totally silly and all degrees *are* externally moderated...I would expect the course in question to contain a significant amount of management science and a significant amount of chemistry (albeit specifically related to hair products). Otherwise it wouldn't be a *Sc...the quality of the graduates *in their field* must be of a similar quality to the physics graduates from imperial *in physics* for it to be a B*. But by choosing a very limited field the university makes attaining that quality more straightforward.
Externally moderated or not, I find it hard to believe that a degree which asks for 3 GCSE's in any subjects, and 2 A levels with any grades, could possibly reach the same depth and quality as a degree which starts off with students who are much more able. The fact that they both end up with a BSc is just so misleading.

Obviously something like hairdressing is going to be fairly useful, vocation-wise, why shouldn't people be encouraged to have training in a workplace - surely in a lot of cases 3 years of hands on experience in a job is preferable to a very expensive 3 years in a third-rate University.
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PQ
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#67
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#67
Lurker I couldn't agree more

(although rather than raise the image of HNDs the government has rebranded them and at the same time separated out the application system so that it's harder to confuse foundation degrees with degrees but at the same time an FDSc or FDA will have a higher marketable value than an HND)

Hopefully the current review in 14-19 education will help in shaping a policy for *all* students to succeed whichever route they take.

And as for the BSc equivalency problem - in theory regardless of what label Derby put on their hairdressing science/management course any employer will know that the skills gained in that course are vastly different to the skills gained from a BSc Physics from IC...and will hopefully be in a position to decide which skills would be more useful in an employee (no offense to physics students but I know which one I'd rather have do my highlights )
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Kirki
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#68
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#68
I don't know about "joke courses", but there are certainly courses that I do not believe should be offered at university. This is mainly because I see university as a purely academic place, and so courses that are outside of this I do not believe should be offered. I'm thinking of courses such as "Nail technology" and "Goat herding" (I'm not joking, these do exist). There are few or no transerable skills contained in these, like you would find in English or Maths, and as such are only of benefit to one industry (the beauty industry, for the example of nail technology). In these cases it would be far more efficient for the industry in question to train up their own staff, rather than to make the tax payers pay for something that ultimately will not benefit them. Why bother going to university when you can learn just as well from the industry? Of course these people need training, but an academic institution is not the place for it.
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PQ
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#69
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#69
(Original post by Kirki)
I'm thinking of courses such as "Nail technology" and "Goat herding" (I'm not joking, these do exist).
I don't suppose you could point out *where* they exist - I'm having trouble finding them on the UCAS course search facility http://search.ucas.co.uk/cs2002/cs.html

Thanks
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Kirki
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#70
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#70
I don't suppose you could point out *where* they exist
Meep, I cannot seem to find them now. The ones I cited must have been discontinued, as they certainly existed when I was looking around UCAS last year. However, my argument holds just as well with Herd managment and hairdressing

I apologise for my error
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4Ed
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#71
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#71
(Original post by Kirki)
Meep, I cannot seem to find them now. The ones I cited must have been discontinued, as they certainly existed when I was looking around UCAS last year. However, my argument holds just as well with Herd managment and hairdressing

I apologise for my error
as I mentioned before, these do involve some amount of skill, which may or may not be as academic as your traditional course.... the stuff they are learning is still the same, but the status has been 'upped' to put it (theoretically) on a par with normal degrees. This will help Blair with his 'target' of 50% in higher ed, even though they are not really learning higher education so to speak... it probably just makes the average person feel better about themselves, having a 'degree'. It's almost as big a joke as those new job titles they have coined up like food replenishment assistant (shelf stacker) and hygeine technician (road sweeper/cleaners)
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Me2
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#72
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#72
theres nothing wrong with dairy herd management, its a part of agriculture, which many popular universities offer, and which i was contimplating taking.... :P
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Mark_KK
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#73
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#73
(Original post by Me2)
theres nothing wrong with dairy herd management, its a part of agriculture, which many popular universities offer, and which i was contimplating taking.... :P
But is it anything that you couldnt learn with "on the job" experience?
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4Ed
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#74
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#74
(Original post by Mark_KK)
But is it anything that you couldnt learn with "on the job" experience?
mate, if it really boils down to it, you can learn ANYTHING on the job.... the question is, do the people who employ you WANT to train you up, or would they rather have someone who knows it all?

I mean, any uni could just pull in a guy off the streets and ask him to be a maths lecturer, but provide him with 15 years maths training on the job.
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Kirki
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#75
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#75
Meeble, I do seem to be making a complete mess of this. I have no doubt that courses such as dairy herd management involve a large amount of skill, and are hard work. They probably involve the same amount of work and skill as their academic equivilents. My problem is that they could be far more efficiently provided for by the industry in question. Of course, given the problems in farming at the moment, perhaps being subsidised by the govt. would be a good idea! I've probably chosen a very bad example here.
My point is just that universities should be reserved for academic subjects that cannot be provided for in other places. Otherwise the government is effectively subsidising these industries, which does seem to be rather ridiculous given the far more important things that it could be spending the money on.
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Mark_KK
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#76
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#76
(Original post by 4Ed)
mate, if it really boils down to it, you can learn ANYTHING on the job.... the question is, do the people who employ you WANT to train you up, or would they rather have someone who knows it all?

I mean, any uni could just pull in a guy off the streets and ask him to be a maths lecturer, but provide him with 15 years maths training on the job.
I think that the issue people are trying to get at here is the difference between an academic course and a vocational course.
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Lurker
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#77
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#77
(Original post by Pencil Queen)
Lurker I couldn't agree more
...
And as for the BSc equivalency problem - in theory regardless of what label Derby put on their hairdressing science/management course any employer will know that the skills gained in that course are vastly different to the skills gained from a BSc Physics from IC...and will hopefully be in a position to decide which skills would be more useful in an employee (no offense to physics students but I know which one I'd rather have do my highlights )
Sorry it turned into such a rant, it's just something that really bothers me! Lol, I know you're right about employers as well, it's the way that degrees are presented these days that drives me up the wall...
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4Ed
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#78
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#78
(Original post by Mark_KK)
I think that the issue people are trying to get at here is the difference between an academic course and a vocational course.
sorry... u seemed to think that dairy farm management etc should not be taught at unis because they can be learnt 'on the job'

personally i think it's a joke.... jobs will always have a hierarchy to them, and promoting vocational knowledge into degrees will not do anything to increase their respectability.
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claire1985
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#79
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#79
(Original post by Mark_KK)
What do you consider to be a joke course and why? I am not asking for subjects (although you can name them) more so what you think the definition of one is.
I class any degree that is not academic by traditional standards as a joke, for example:
Media Studies
Surf/Beckhamology
Golf Management
Gender Studies (at undergraduate level)
Public Relations
Computer Studies
Film Studies
The list goes on, I mean why would you want to know, or need a degree to prove your worth in the majority of these subjects? It is crazy....!
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LongGone
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#80
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#80
Why could media studies or film studies or even gender studies not be an academic subject? Have you actually ever studied them, or are you just going off what you've heard in the media?

And what exactly would you class as "academic by traditional standards"?

There's too many snobs on this board. And that's not just referring to you, that's referring to a hell of a lot of people.
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