The Student Room Group

Are there too many universities / courses?

I have just been trawling through the U.C.A.S. website and am totally amazed at some of the things you can study at university.

Some of the degrees were incredible in the way that I never realised they could have enough course material to justify three years teaching at degree level.

Basic economics dictates that the more of something there is the less value people associate with it.

Am I the only person who thinks that this push to get 50% of people in to higher education (mostly university) has resulted in the creation of most of these institutes and courses?

As a result of this we are looking at top up fees etc...

I very much doubt that 50% of people are higher education material so the only way that they can achieve this statistic is by making it possible for almost anyone to study at this level. This results in the creation of a "two tier" university system (if not three or four tiers) and the whole stigma of "mickey mouse" courses.

One girl who is on my English Language AS and A2 Level course has had an offer of 1 E (yes, thats one E) to go to a university and study a particular course. Surly this should not be happening?

I feel that many people will agree with me but will not say anything for the risk of upsetting someone.

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Darren from Essex (drives a vauxhall nova) doing a law degree at Southampton Institute will become one of the countries top lawyers. Honest.
Reply 2
Yes! There are far too many people going to university and far too many courses. I don't care how elitist that sounds, university is supposed to be for the academically elite anyway.

Good point Mark that we wouldn't have the top-up fees without these courses. Not sure how true this is but it must be in some way.
Reply 3
Joey_Johns
Darren from Essex (drives a vauxhall nova) doing a law degree at Southampton Institute will become one of the countries top lawyers. Honest.


Lets not forget Tracey from Liverpool doing Media Managment and Photography at London Metropolitan University who will one day become Director General of the B.B.C. - remember you read it here first.
Reply 4
Anyone tried the Stamford test on the UCAS website? I got something like 100 suggested areas of study that they thought I should look at! There's just toooo much to specialise in.
Reply 5
Ah, another thread of this ilk, although this time I see we have a healthy dose of class hatred thrown in too!

Mark_KK
Am I the only person who thinks that this push to get 50% of people in to higher education (mostly university) has resulted in the creation of most of these institutes and courses?
No, this isn't really true. There has been no significant increase in academic (inc media studies etc, sic) degree courses since Blair announced his 50% target.. in fact, from this point on I don't believe there will be any expansion in that regard.

And, AFAIK, there haven't been any new institutions since the polys changed in 92, and even they don't really count as "new".

If you want to look for reasons for there being more of these courses, your best bet is to look at the spiralling A level grades / pass rate.
Mark_KK
Lets not forget Tracey from Liverpool doing Media Managment and Photography at London Metropolitan University who will one day become Director General of the B.B.C. - remember you read it here first.


Darren and Tracey should get together. Dazza being a 'rude boy' would love to get with a 'lively livapudlian' scouser who has ear rings you can actually hula hoop in and glows orange.

They would be the new council estate Posh and Becks.
Reply 7
I am not trying to slate anyone in particular, it just pisses me off the way that the whole system is going.

People tell us that there is no such thing as a Mickey Mouse course or worthless instutute, are these same people saying that ALL of the courses on offer are thus 100% worthwhile?

Does it then follow that someone who had to get 3 "A" grades to study Medicine or some other highly academic subject is equal to someone who tossed about during their "A Levels" and scraped in to somewhere with 1 "E".

Before we get the equal opportunity and fairness for all brigade on here I think we need to remember that University is supposed to be for people who are of a reasonable academic standard, by lowering the standard required for university entry all we are doing is devaluing the whole system and thus creating discrimination against certain courses and institutes.
Reply 8
Joey_Johns
Darren and Tracey should get together. Dazza being a 'rude boy' would love to get with a 'lively livapudlian' scouser who has ear rings you can actually hula hoop in and glows orange.

They would be the new council estate Posh and Becks.
Glad to see we're focusing on the issues, not just reciting prejudices.

Stuff like this (the 3rd such instance on this thread) really doesn't inspire confidence that the opinions juxtaposed with them are any more than an extension of that prejudice.
Reply 9
Mark_KK


People tell us that there is no such thing as a Mickey Mouse course or worthless instutute, are these same people saying that ALL of the courses on offer are thus 100% worthwhile?

Does it then follow that someone who had to get 3 "A" grades to study Medicine or some other highly academic subject is equal to someone who tossed about during their "A Levels" and scraped in to somewhere with 1 "E".
Perhaps not.

Is there a reason why they have to be equal?
Reply 10
llama boy
No, this isn't really true. There has been no significant increase in academic (inc media studies etc, sic) degree courses


Ok, so on one hand you tell us that there has been no real increase.


If you want to look for reasons for there being more of these courses, your best bet is to look at the spiralling A level grades / pass rate.


But then you go and say that there has been.

So which is it to be?
llama boy
Glad to see we're focusing on the issues, not just reciting prejudices.

Stuff like this (the 3rd such instance on this thread) really doesn't inspire confidence that the opinions juxtaposed with them are any more than an extension of that prejudice.


The issues which you or anybody else on this forum have no control over.
Reply 12
llama boy
Perhaps not.

Is there a reason why they have to be equal?


Yes, :biggrin:.

Just wait till the <subject name> studies and <subject name> ology people come on this thread telling us that they are doing a worthwhile course that is just as valueable as any of the "traditional" subjects and that they are not just spending three years of their lives in the pub.
Reply 13
Mark_KK
Ok, so on one hand you tell us that there has been no real increase.



But then you go and say that there has been.

So which is it to be?
It's an interesting question.

I guess my (badly articulated) point was that there hasn't been the huge growth in this sort of course from nowhere as you implied. Rather, with the polys converting, they have moved somewhat from their traditional type vocational courses to doing this sort as well, although that doesn't mean a huge increase in the overall numbers going to uni.
Reply 14
Joey_Johns
The issues which you or anybody else on this forum have no control over.
Yes.
Reply 15
llama boy
Rather, with the polys converting, they have moved somewhat from their traditional type vocational courses to doing this sort as well, although that doesn't mean a huge increase in the overall numbers going to uni.


I'm not so sure...are we now not currently seeing more people go to university then ever before? (the Governent readily proclaims this) or are you trying to point to the fact that people who used to be at college are now at university due to the fact that somewhere changed its name.
Reply 16
Of course all degrees aren't 'worth' the same - why would they need to be? If you go into a job related to your degree course, obviously someone with a different degree couldn't get in and vice versa. Employers are perfectly capable of discriminating between 'degrees' and '3-year piss-up certificates'. What is worrying, though, is that the burden of these people is placed upon us.

Ben
Reply 17
Mark_KK
Yes, :biggrin:.

Just wait till the <subject name> studies and <subject name> ology people come on this thread telling us that they are doing a worthwhile course that is just as valueable as any of the "traditional" subjects and that they are not just spending three years of their lives in the pub.
Well, that's their problem, isn't it?

I'm against doing 6th formers the disservice of pretending all degrees are equal, but aside from that issue, what exactly is the problem with all degrees not being equal?

Surely it has always been the case, a degree from Oxford or LSE has always been more valuable than from institution X, however far you go back?
llama boy
Yes.


Ah well, seen as you quote Plato, I will let you be. You can fight to change the world, I cant be arsed (mainly because I'm drunk at the moment)
Reply 19
Ben.S.
Employers are perfectly capable of discriminating between 'degrees' and '3-year piss-up certificates'. What is worrying, though, is that the burden of these people is placed upon us.

Ben


What is also worrying is the seeming inability of some students to identify one from the other, I know of people who have gone on a "three-year piss-up certificate" then wondered why no-one wants to offer them a decent job when they graduate.

I am also worried at the burden they place on the taxpayer.