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Minister calls for measures to help White Working Class Males get into University Watch

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    (Original post by abc:))
    Why white males? Why not working class in general? There are plenty of white males at university. The working class in general are at a disadvantage, women and ethnic minorities included.

    Also I think the way to enable these people to reach higher education is through better secondary and further education. Some schools are absolutely appalling.
    Enrolment rates at HE are actually higher for women than males. My guess is that the reason it was specific to working class males was that the gap is even larger in the working classes.
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    (Original post by yeahman1)
    You think someone can have a poor education for 18 years and still have more potential than someone who has had a world class one? Don't be ridiculous.
    I would say that it is almost inevitable that the person with the poor education has more potential than the person with the world class one, assuming they have the same natural intelligence/ability
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    (Original post by Jack93o)
    in the mean time, the government has to do something to even out the playing field
    But if that "something" involves giving less deserving people a place at university over more deserving people, just because of their class or ethnicity, then that is not something I can support. "Positive" discrimination is still discrimination.
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    (Original post by bc001)
    Its simple. Have a quota for girls, guys, private school girls, private school guys for each university which is representative of the population in education as a whole. So 7% public school people (split between girls and boys), and 93 state school (split between girls and boys).

    Although really the far better approach would be to stop so many people going to university, accept that in most cases a degree does very little for your ability to work in the real world, and make it easier for ALevel students to go straight into decent jobs with no 'graduate ceiling'.
    But what about places like Oxford, where the number of private school applicants is proportional to the number of private school entrants? Would you have them throw out most of their applications to fill quotas?

    Also, with this method, there's a high likelihood of future generations ending up with less competent doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. as people who are otherwise unsuited to courses are taken on to fill quotas?

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    We need to look at our schooling system if we really want to fix this problem.

    Unfortunately education is completely immersed in the social fabric of our culture and is very much tied-up with how Brits define themselves (part of our class system). This means that taking a dispassionate look at our education system is pretty much impossible for any political institution or individual as there is always the accusation of unfairly favouring this or that socio-economic group. This of course is not to mention the fact that traditional 'academic' success is seen in Britain as the only real type of education, most people's views of vocational education are, in fact, quite shockingly backward. However, I don't see any of this changing in the near future in England (at least, if not the UK as a whole) so we will still have this problem for a while yet.

    That said, if I were to have a new education system then it would probably look a bit like the Swiss/German systems with selected education with multiple entry points and good funding across the board (not just for the 'academic' institutions) so that we can create a high quality skilled labour force as well as university graduates. I would cut defense budgets to fund this new education system.

    I would also require much more stringent tests for non-state funded schools to be able to claim charity status, specifically to allow VAT exemption on fees. People should have the choice to send their children to private institutions, but they should accept that this is a luxury (or indeed value-added activity) and should be taxed as such unless that institution can demonstrate that the majority of its work is of a truly charitable and beneficial nature, not just that it is effectively a not-for-profit venture. This would have the impact of either increasing tax revenues or encouraging the private education sector to do more to benefit wider society (I hope it would do the latter as I feel that would be more beneficial).
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    if admissions to university are the metric then just shouting at the unis makes a lot of sense...

    improving schools will not affect admissions to uni much within an electoral cycle, especially not this cycle which ends in 2015 at the latest, but will (probably) mean a lot of taxpayer spending.

    shouting at unis is quick and cheap.
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    (Original post by bc001)
    Its simple. Have a quota for girls, guys, private school girls, private school guys for each university which is representative of the population in education as a whole. So 7% public school people (split between girls and boys), and 93 state school (split between girls and boys).

    Although really the far better approach would be to stop so many people going to university, accept that in most cases a degree does very little for your ability to work in the real world, and make it easier for ALevel students to go straight into decent jobs with no 'graduate ceiling'.
    This is really flawed.

    1) The state : private ratio at sixth-form is more like 80:20.
    2) The reason why top universities have so many privately-schooled students is because these happen to be the students who are relatively more often meeting the admissions criteria these universities set.
    3) So to have a more 'representative' mix of private and state school students the answer is to improve the standard of education in state schools. They should stop being so averse to teaching subjects like Latin, they should not be afraid to punish students, and they should stop being swayed by trendy new teaching strategies. A good first step would be the abolition of Ofsted.

    All your suggestion would result in would be people not getting the university places they deserve or that are best-suited to them.
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    (Original post by TritonSails)
    This is really flawed.

    1) The state : private ratio at sixth-form is more like 80:20.
    2) The reason why top universities have so many privately-schooled students is because these happen to be the students who are relatively more often meeting the admissions criteria these universities set.
    3) So to have a more 'representative' mix of private and state school students the answer is to improve the standard of education in state schools. They should stop being so averse to teaching subjects like Latin, they should not be afraid to punish students, and they should stop being swayed by trendy new teaching strategies. A good first step would be the abolition of Ofsted.

    All your suggestion would result in would be people not getting the university places they deserve or that are best-suited to them.
    Latin? the sixties hadn't started to swing when oxbridge dropped latin as a requirement for anything.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Latin? the sixties hadn't started to swing when oxbridge dropped latin as a requirement for anything.
    I'm not advocating it because I think it is still required for Oxbridge admissions; I'm advocating it (and Greek) because Classics is both incredibly important and also incredibly under-taught, a situation that I think should change.
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    (Original post by TritonSails)
    I'm advocating it (and Greek) because Classics is both incredibly important
    It is? :confused:
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    There are two things that wouldn't require too much of an upheaval which really ought to be done:
    1) Better education for teachers about the university process and which subjects are needed and entry requirements e.c.t so they can give better advice, this will ensure that kids don't miss out on applying to places they would have been capable of meeting the offer for anyway e.g. the kid with AAA who thinks Oxford is too posh or didn't take the right A-Levels
    2) Universities should link up with local schools and give them guidance and advice- each underperforming school should be linked up with a top uni so admissions tutors themselves can go in and identify pupils they believe should apply and give advice to all teachers and pupils.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    It is? :confused:
    Yes. It teaches you loads about rhetoric, history, philosophy, and great literature in a way no other field can really manage, and a working knowledge of it is pretty much required to properly do a degree in a lot of the humanities and arts. It just tends not to be taught in a lot of schools because it is 'difficult' or because it is associated with privilege and social elitism.
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    (Original post by TritonSails)
    Yes. It teaches you loads about rhetoric, history, philosophy, and great literature in a way no other field can really manage, and a working knowledge of it is pretty much required to properly do a degree in a lot of the humanities and arts. It just tends not to be taught in a lot of schools because it is 'difficult' or because it is associated with privilege and social elitism.
    You'd spend money on that before fixing maths and english?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-students.html
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    (Original post by yeahman1)
    That is nothing to do with class or ethnicity; what you are referring to is quality of education. (Granted, that is closely linked to class in the case of public/private schools).
    I agree with you! If you really want to look at quality of education then fine but I don't see why being an ethnic minority should have an impact.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    You'd spend money on that before fixing maths and english?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-students.html
    I'd do both: they'd happily feed into each other.
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    (Original post by TritonSails)
    This is really flawed.

    1) The state : private ratio at sixth-form is more like 80:20.
    2) The reason why top universities have so many privately-schooled students is because these happen to be the students who are relatively more often meeting the admissions criteria these universities set.
    3) So to have a more 'representative' mix of private and state school students the answer is to improve the standard of education in state schools. They should stop being so averse to teaching subjects like Latin, they should not be afraid to punish students, and they should stop being swayed by trendy new teaching strategies. A good first step would be the abolition of Ofsted.

    All your suggestion would result in would be people not getting the university places they deserve or that are best-suited to them.
    1) When universities only look at post GCSE results, then an 80:20 mix would be fair. But they look at GCSEs so the 93:7 is still relevant.

    2) No - the admissions system is set up to suit people with rich enough parents to send them to fee paying schools.

    3) With whose money would they do this? Tax the rich out of private schools
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    (Original post by Sheldor)
    But what about places like Oxford, where the number of private school applicants is proportional to the number of private school entrants? Would you have them throw out most of their applications to fill quotas?

    Also, with this method, there's a high likelihood of future generations ending up with less competent doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. as people who are otherwise unsuited to courses are taken on to fill quotas?

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    But they wouldn't be unsuited to the courses lol. Its silly to conflate vocational jobs with an undergrad degree.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Yeah... except that's completely retarded. You'd utterly destroy meritocracy; in a quest for "equality" you'd put in place absolute barriers to keep out people who could be the best candidates. This is true of all quota systems in this context.
    It wouldn't destroy meritocracy. It essentially says to people who have inordinate amounts of money spent on their education that they have to be top of the pile of their equals - e.g. people who also have had inordinate amounts of money spent on their education. And there would be no barrier if parents decided to send their kid to a normal state school, which they could easily do.
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    This is about as sensible as all the money spent knocking down and rebuilding crap schools but leaving them with the same crap teachers.

    Instead of trying to artificially distort a flawed system why not just give aptitude tests at early ages and make the education system properly meritocratic? A merit based tiered system is the only way that would allow people to make the most of their talents whatever their starting points.
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    (Original post by bc001)
    It wouldn't destroy meritocracy. It essentially says to people who have inordinate amounts of money spent on their education that they have to be top of the pile of their equals - e.g. people who also have had inordinate amounts of money spent on their education. And there would be no barrier if parents decided to send their kid to a normal state school, which they could easily do.
    How about means tested education so that parents at top schools pay what they can afford but entry is based purely on merit. The rich parents can console themselves with the knowledge that their house alarm systems are now far less likely to be tested by intelligent criminals.
 
 
 
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