Cut the number of uni courses; increase the quality of the rest??

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Fuzzpig
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#1
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#1
This is a debate that will soon come up in my student's union.

Cut the number of courses on offer at the university and by doing so, increase the quality of the remaining courses.

One example they gave was get rid of the War Studies department, allowing the History department to gain their funding and thus be able to offer more to the students in terms of teaching, resources and research.

What are your views on this? Would you support this as an action in your own university? Would you support this over all universities?
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rac1
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#2
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#2
I'm not at uni but i think that sounds pretty good:dontknow:
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evening sunrise
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#3
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#3
I thought you had used War Studies as a ludicrous example. A quick google then revealed to me that several universities, including highly ranked ones have such a department.

My only comment is that I demand a proportion of my income tax back. Clear enough ?
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Agenda Suicide
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#4
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#4
Sounds good to me.

There are a lot of 'degree subjects' floating around that really shouldn't be degrees. I'm not being elitist or snobby but nobody needs communication management, hospitality and tourism, food sciences etc. It's a drain on resources which could be used to better the other departments.
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Mbob
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Agenda Suicide)
Sounds good to me.

There are a lot of 'degree subjects' floating around that really shouldn't be degrees. I'm not being elitist or snobby but nobody needs communication management, hospitality and tourism, food sciences etc. It's a drain on resources which could be used to better the other departments.
So we could spend more money on History, English, Classics etc. which are much more useful?

Presumably people who have degrees in the subjects you've listed and then have gone on to relevant careers who think that they did need their subjects.
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cambio wechsel
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#6
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#6
Would student numbers go down or is this just an economies of scale idea?

I mean is the idea that your university should change from having 10,000 students following 100 different UG degree programmes to having 10,000 students following 30 UG degree programmes? Bigger lectures, fewer exams to set, that sort of thing?
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nexttime
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#7
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#7
We had a similar debate recently - it just comes down to whether you think degrees are purely there to be useful to the economy or whether the student should have a say in it as well. Education for the sake of education is a nice idea, but has to be funded somehow! Equally, forcing students to do 'useful' subjects they don't like is not appealing. We strike a balance at the moment that seems to have gone far more down the 'student choice' route in recent years.
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mariachi
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#8
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#8
(Original post by aliluvschoc)

One example they gave was get rid of the War Studies department, allowing the History department to gain their funding
nonsense

War studies doesn't teach you how to go to war, rather how to deal with conflict

If the title disturbs politically correct people, just rename it "Peace Studies"
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mariachi
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Agenda Suicide)
Sounds good to me.

There are a lot of 'degree subjects' floating around that really shouldn't be degrees.
I agree

e.g. "Gipsy urbanism" and "Aztec horsemanship" should be scrapped
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SophiaKeuning
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Mbob)
So we could spend more money on History, English, Classics etc. which are much more useful?

Presumably people who have degrees in the subjects you've listed and then have gone on to relevant careers who think that they did need their subjects.
:bigsmile:
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Joinedup
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#11
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#11
Sounds more like you're set for a debate about the number of departments than the number of courses tbh.
If the uni is making money on a course called 'war studies' it'll be reluctant to scrap it to please the prestige monkeys and philistine snobs infesting tsr. It might however reorganise the course into a different department to make 'savings', 'maximise synergies' etc... I.e. Cut jobs.
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MagicNMedicine
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#12
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#12
Why does Apple produce so many products?

Why doesn't it just cut out the ipad, ipod, iphone and just focus on producing Macs. Then it could increase the quality of the Mac...
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username537845
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#13
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#13
They wouldn't be forced into anything. If they didn't like the courses that were on offer then they choose to do something else instead; either work or an apprenticeship. Simple. Saves money aswell since those getting rid of courses gets rid of the subsidies from the government, too.
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funsongfactory
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#14
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#14
Lets be fair, noone really needs a degree to work in communication management, travel and tourism or food services.
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Mbob
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#15
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#15
(Original post by SophiaKeuning)
Well you see, university isn't actually a place of vocational learning. [See Labour's little idea of Vocational Colleges.] University should be where people become intelligent, strong thinkers,it's producing a bunch of ****ing awesome people who are able to think. Does a business need people who know how a business works? Yes. But they also need ideas, people who can THINK. Now, not everyone wants a job in business. Look at the past, where university wasn't so vocational, where loads of people did Philosophy as well as English, Classics and History and realise how many brilliant writers, journalists, activists, social/political thinkers there was. It depends on how you view life. If you think the world should be full of businessmen/people in the law sector/doctors/engineers/bankers, you aren't going to appreciate the BA subjects. But to those who realise the world is more than that, they can appreciate the BAs.


I am going to university (English Lit and History) because they make me happy. I feel like my mind isn't dying. It makes my life feel like it has has something in it. Yes uni should produce people who are going to 'contribute', and it will, but it's also for studying. Where people expand their minds. Call me idealistic, but everything is not about getting a job at the end of it. That's shallow.

Obviously Science is awesome, but it doesn't have to be the most important thing you know. What's the point in living longer if our lives are empty? Ah, that's where the science and business people also come in, 'buy our ipads!'.
To be fair, I wasn't saying that people shouldn't study the humanities, and I hope you have fun when you do.

I was responding to the poster who was claiming that vocational subjects weren't useful and that they should be scrapped, with the money spent on all 'traditional' subjects because they are more useful. I was pointing out that you can't claim English is intrinsically more useful that, for example, tourism.

As it happens, far more people (in absolute numbers) study subjects such as English now then they did in the past. It has been natural sciences/engineers that have been static or at time even declining. So I think you've already won the argument.

Most of us who studied science didn't do it for career reasons. We feel just as passionate about our subjects as you do about yours. Science isn't about rote learning - there's just as much 'learning to think' as there is for the arts.
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SophiaKeuning
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Mbob)
To be fair, I wasn't saying that people shouldn't study the humanities, and I hope you have fun when you do.

I was responding to the poster who was claiming that vocational subjects weren't useful and that they should be scrapped, with the money spent on all 'traditional' subjects because they are more useful. I was pointing out that you can't claim English is intrinsically more useful that, for example, tourism.

As it happens, far more people (in absolute numbers) study subjects such as English now then they did in the past. It has been natural sciences/engineers that have been static or at time even declining. So I think you've already won the argument.

Most of us who studied science didn't do it for career reasons. We feel just as passionate about our subjects as you do about yours. Science isn't about rote learning - there's just as much 'learning to think' as there is for the arts.
Hey sorry dude I didn't mean it directly at you. Just a useless rant because a lot of people really do have the view and it's a but hurtful. I agree with you. And on the science one I know there's a hell of a lot of thought that goes in that, that people do it because they enjoy it and they contribute to the research of it, progression-init! (I'd hate to be one of those who demeans science). I meant the more vocational sciency courses. I wish I was good at physics. :emo:
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TLK
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#17
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#17
Sounds like a good idea but really depends on the course they cut. If they cut a course that I want to do like Astrophysics so the Physics department can get more money then to me it doesn't sound like a good idea, but it really depends on the subject they cut.
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mariachi
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#18
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#18
(Original post by Joinedup)
If the uni is making money on a course called 'war studies' it'll be reluctant to scrap it to please the prestige monkeys and philistine snobs infesting tsr.
yep

e.g. "War Studies" at KCL has an excellent international reputation and it attracts many international students (especially from the US, but also Asia) paying high fees


Why on Earth should it be abolished ?
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tieyourmotherdown
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Agenda Suicide)
Sounds good to me.

There are a lot of 'degree subjects' floating around that really shouldn't be degrees. I'm not being elitist or snobby but nobody needs communication management, hospitality and tourism, food sciences etc. It's a drain on resources which could be used to better the other departments.
Food sciences is hugely useful, though, as the NHS relies hugely on Dietetics graduates.

If anything your post just proves how cutting 'useless' subjects is easier said than done, as there is little consensus on what a useless subject is.
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ddrrzzeerr
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#20
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#20
I can't see it making that much more available to the departments that remain. If you get rid of war studies then you would lose all the funding from their fees unless you teach more people history but then you have to pay for more teachers. They could never do it at my uni anyway because we have hardly any departments as it is.
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