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    (Original post by melissabishopx)
    it is a bit odd how you can start a thread like this when you study sociology and then go on to call people 'thickys' when you got UUUU in the first year of your AS levels. if we were going by your original proposals you would definitely not be at uni, off to the job centre for you.


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    1. Just because I study sociology, a degree I think has little use - doesn't mean I can't hold these views.

    2. I don't recall calling anyone a thicky in this thread, but I could be wrong so please find the post?

    3. I got UUUU because I didn't try, not a jot. Hilarious now, but then it was a bad time in my life, should have taken a year out. Then again I went back, finished top of my class in everything and despite being told that I'd struggle ended up winning the college prize for academic achievement, so you know I must be a 'thicky'.

    4. My proposal was to either limit the universities offering my degree or limit the grades, considering I got A*AB and study at one of the country's top universities, I think I'd be safe by my proposal.

    5. Doubtful - I already have a part-time job where there is currently a shortage of staff doing what I do, so I don't think I'll be at the job centre, unless that changes.

    What do you study and where Melissa?
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Are you saying psychology isn't an essay based subject? I know people who do it and they say to me that its essay based.

    There are so, so many psychology graduates. Why do we need that many? Do they all go with the intention of postgrad or do they go because they've been told they have to go to university? Psychology is - in my own experience - one of those degrees that people flock to because they think it'll be cool and interesting, not because they have a clear academic understanding and what to learn more.
    I do psychology myself and we do do essays but they only count for around 15% of the module each and we are only doing 1 per module this term., there's a lot more focus on research reports but the most on the exams. My friend does biochem and she does essays? I don't see what the issue is.

    And yes a lot of people go for psychology for the wrong reasons I do agree, I don't even think they know what the subject really is, it's a lot more boring than what people think.
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    You might have to write essays for geography and psychology but you do research in thhem. Both prepare you for a job as you might have to do research then write up your findings and background knowledge is vital as is being able to write/structure a report and especially the discussion.
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    (Original post by Jelkin)
    x
    Making some good points :hat2: Good to see you around too!

    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Because it's an absolute waste of the taxpayers money to fund a student through a degree that gets put to no use..
    Did you read my post about dukeofwembley's very narrow use of "useful"? I do think that by evaluating a subject's usefulness just in terms of how many graduates of that degree end up in a "graduate level" job is quite narrow.

    If we are considering the utility of a degree, its social and economic usefulness, then we need to consider what a degree means to each individual student and the other ways in which it can be useful. It was certainly my case that my degree allowed me to increase my confidence, overcome some substantial obstacles, and demonstrate to myself that I am a strong, resilient person. This has proved to be of vital importance to my well being and post-university life. Although not a vocational course it also had content which was relevant to my career plans and allowed me to chose a career.

    Yes, I went to a "top ten" university, but the league table position of my university is quite irrelevant. There will be degrees at other universities, including those at former polytechnics, where the degree content is even more relevant to my interests and career plan.

    This isn't to say that I am concerned with the number of students who do go to university x to study a degree believing it is a passport to a graduate job, do little outside their degree and come away with an average 2:1 or even 2:2, then can't find a job. However, I think the number of people who act like this is exaggerated. Most study the subject because they are passionate about it, and, yes, would like to benefit from the "university experience". Can we really dismiss their enjoyment, and what they get out as well as the benefit that having a more educated, cultured populace has to society as a whole?
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    It's worth thinking about imo. The number of places on arts courses has increaced dramatically whereas some stem subjects are fighting for their lives. No one in government afaik sat down and made the case that we need a lot more law graduates (just an example)

    No one seems to be angry that stem presently gets higher research funding from government, why's it ok to throttle the number of people doing arts phd's but not restrict undergraduate numbers?
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    The real issue is that those people go into jobs that require a university degree, but that's it. The degree counts as a signal and it doesn't really matter what you studied, subject wise. I do believe those degrees teach you other things non-factual related that will be useful. But overall, little of what you learn at uni will be used at work.

    So you have to ask why spending 3 years of time (more important than money) and not already work. Then add the fee and living costs, etc. and you have to wonder if it is worth it. The sad answer is yes, because as I said above the degree counts, you can't get a graduate job without being a graduate (or at least highly unlikely).

    Will moving resources from humanities into science solve this problem? No. Imo we need less people at uni, period. For example if you want to go into advertisement then an English degree will be suitable I guess if you learn the skills for that. But the question is whether you need the whole degree, the whole 3 years and not just a programme where you learn just the specifics, rather than spend 3 years also reading stuff that may be interesting to you, but irrelevant to your career.
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    (Original post by River85)
    Making some good points :hat2: Good to see you around too!



    Did you read my post about dukeofwembley's very narrow use of "useful"? I do think that by evaluating a subject's usefulness just in terms of how many graduates of that degree end up in a "graduate level" job is quite narrow.

    If we are considering the utility of a degree, its social and economic usefulness, then we need to consider what a degree means to each individual student and the other ways in which it can be useful. It was certainly my case that my degree allowed me to increase my confidence, overcome some substantial obstacles, and demonstrate to myself that I am a strong, resilient person. This has proved to be of vital importance to my well being and post-university life. Although not a vocational course it also had content which was relevant to my career plans and allowed me to chose a career.

    Yes, I went to a "top ten" university, but the league table position of my university is quite irrelevant. There will be degrees at other universities, including those at former polytechnics, where the degree content is even more relevant to my interests and career plan.

    This isn't to say that I am concerned with the number of students who do go to university x to study a degree believing it is a passport to a graduate job, do little outside their degree and come away with an average 2:1 or even 2:2, then can't find a job. However, I think the number of people who act like this is exaggerated. Most study the subject because they are passionate about it, and, yes, would like to benefit from the "university experience". Can we really dismiss their enjoyment, and what they get out as well as the benefit that having a more educated, cultured populace has to society as a whole?
    I don't think I've met many people who feel 'passion' for their degree, if I'm honest.

    For me, a degree is something you should do to get a job out of it, since it is at the taxpayers expense, and you have to earn so much to pay that back. I think it's rather unfair to expect the state to pay you through a degree you're doing for the enjoyment of doing. So for me, a degree is 'useful' both to society and the student, if something worthwhile comes of it for both parties.

    I personally don't understand how doing a degree increases the confidence or anything else like that of an individual. There has been absolutely nothing at university for me to build on anything other than academics - university for me is just like A-Levels but living away from home.
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    (Original post by danny111)
    The real issue is that those people go into jobs that require a university degree, but that's it. The degree counts as a signal and it doesn't really matter what you studied, subject wise. I do believe those degrees teach you other things non-factual related that will be useful. But overall, little of what you learn at uni will be used at work.

    So you have to ask why spending 3 years of time (more important than money) and not already work. Then add the fee and living costs, etc. and you have to wonder if it is worth it. The sad answer is yes, because as I said above the degree counts, you can't get a graduate job without being a graduate (or at least highly unlikely).

    Will moving resources from humanities into science solve this problem? No. Imo we need less people at uni, period. For example if you want to go into advertisement then an English degree will be suitable I guess if you learn the skills for that. But the question is whether you need the whole degree, the whole 3 years and not just a programme where you learn just the specifics, rather than spend 3 years also reading stuff that may be interesting to you, but irrelevant to your career.
    A degree should be a signal of intelligence, but IMO, it isn't (on the whole). I know people at university who got in (2011 entry) with more than one D at A2. That's unreal, I fail to see how anyone getting less than 300 UCAS points from their best three A-Levels can get into university. It's people like that who have massively diluted what a degree actually means, and more often than not, these people are doing humanities based subjects and becoming an absolute drain on the taxpayer, taking out large loans they'll never be able to pay back.

    There should be more on-the-job training, and more emphasis placed on apprenticeships. The problem with that is we've had a generation brought up believing that the clever kids go to university and the thick ones do apprenticeships, which has led to everyone scrambing for university places, even in obscure subjects at former polytechnics, clogging up the system and wasting money.
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    (Original post by anony.mouse)
    You might have to write essays for geography and psychology but you do research in thhem. Both prepare you for a job as you might have to do research then write up your findings and background knowledge is vital as is being able to write/structure a report and especially the discussion.
    You don't need a three year degree that costs just shy of £30k to learn to write a bloody report. You don't need a three year degree to learn how to do research either - skills like that, very non-specific skills that are useful, yes, should be taught through shorter courses, hell they should probably be taught at school.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    You don't need a three year degree that costs just shy of £30k to learn to write a bloody report. You don't need a three year degree to learn how to do research either - skills like that, very non-specific skills that are useful, yes, should be taught through shorter courses, hell they should probably be taught at school.
    If that's so, why did you include law into the useful subjects? Law is an essay based subject, where we learn very little knowledge to prepare for a specific career path, and is mainly about writing/research skills.

    I think you're just highly deluded by what university actually offers people. Historians learn the same skills as Lawyers (See Jonathan Sumption, one of the leading barrister of our time, and Lord Bingham, arguably one of the greatest HoL Justices ever - Both historians).
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    (Original post by zaliack)
    If that's so, why did you include law into the useful subjects? Law is an essay based subject, where we learn very little knowledge to prepare for a specific career path, and is mainly about writing/research skills.

    I think you're just highly deluded by what university actually offers people. Historians learn the same skills as Lawyers (See Jonathan Sumption, one of the leading barrister of our time, and Lord Bingham, arguably one of the greatest HoL Justices ever - Both historians).
    Law is something highly specific though - it actually prepares you for a highly necessary job, you can't do any other degree that teaches you law.

    I don't think that all essay subjects are less useful. Some certainly are. I did say that we need a certain amount of humanities graduates too.

    People seem to think that I want to get rid of every degree that uses words and teach everything in numbers.

    Simply, what I think would be best is:

    Massive reduction in humanities places at university. Keep about half.

    Encourage people to study subjects we need

    Discourage people from going to university to study something they don't need to do to get a job

    Discourage employers from running graduate schemes and replace them with similar schemes for school leavers.

    A lot of humanities graduates put their degrees to waste by doing jobs you don't need a degree to actually do. Part of the problem is society's emphasis on going to university. This needs to change. To do that, we need to reduce places, and massively.

    I really don't think society will be worse off if we got rid of every English, History, Psychology and Sociology department at every ex-poly.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    I don't think I've met many people who feel 'passion' for their degree, if I'm honest.

    For me, a degree is something you should do to get a job out of it, since it is at the taxpayers expense, and you have to earn so much to pay that back. I think it's rather unfair to expect the state to pay you through a degree you're doing for the enjoyment of doing. So for me, a degree is 'useful' both to society and the student, if something worthwhile comes of it for both parties.

    I personally don't understand how doing a degree increases the confidence or anything else like that of an individual. There has been absolutely nothing at university for me to build on anything other than academics - university for me is just like A-Levels but living away from home.
    you appear to be arguing for the ladder to be pulled up to a point somewhat below you... However after reading the above wouldn't a concerned taxpayer be justified in wondering if the bottom of the ladder could usefully be set a bit higher than where you are?

    Wrt signals of intelligence... If that's what degrees are for couldn't we just give everyone an iq test at 16 instead? It'd be a lot quicker and cheaper.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Now, I'm not personally saying we should do this (turkeys don't vote for Christmas and all that) but what would happen if we, say, massively reduced the amount of university places for degrees like

    English Literature
    English Language
    History
    Psychology
    Sociology
    Politics
    Philosophy
    Geography
    RE
    etc

    Degrees that are generally essay based and don't prepare you for an exact job.

    Seems to me as if we're just sending too many people to university to do these kind of degrees, to go into jobs that are non-subject specific generic graduate jobs.

    Now, I know we need English teachers, and RE teachers, and history teachers and geography teachers etc so yeah the subjects have some use, but do we really need as many English Literature graduates as we have? Do we need so many historians, sociologists, philosophers, psychologists, etc?

    What do you think? What would be the ramifications of this if we took 60% of the places on these degrees away and put the extra funding into subjects like maths, chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, law, medicine, nursing, biomedical science, other STEM subjects and so on
    Would you include economics in this list?
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    you appear to be arguing for the ladder to be pulled up to a point somewhat below you... However after reading the above wouldn't a concerned taxpayer be justified in wondering if the bottom of the ladder could usefully be set a bit higher than where you are?

    Wrt signals of intelligence... If that's what degrees are for couldn't we just give everyone an iq test at 16 instead? It'd be a lot quicker and cheaper.
    Is that your roundabout way of saying I'm an idiot? Haha.

    Had there not been so much emphasis on going to university I'd probably not have gone, to be honest. None of the jobs I want require a degree. It's just the sad reality of life nowadays that a lot of jobs, too many jobs in fact, seem to 'require' a degree. Everywhere has a 'grad scheme' when there's nothing really special about a lot of graduates.

    Hurrah for you [insert generic graduate here], you read books for three years at some poly and what have you got to show for it? Any in-demand skills? Can you bring anything other to the labour market other than the ability to 'write a report' etc?
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    1. Just because I study sociology, a degree I think has little use - doesn't mean I can't hold these views.

    2. I don't recall calling anyone a thicky in this thread, but I could be wrong so please find the post?

    3. I got UUUU because I didn't try, not a jot. Hilarious now, but then it was a bad time in my life, should have taken a year out. Then again I went back, finished top of my class in everything and despite being told that I'd struggle ended up winning the college prize for academic achievement, so you know I must be a 'thicky'.

    4. My proposal was to either limit the universities offering my degree or limit the grades, considering I got A*AB and study at one of the country's top universities, I think I'd be safe by my proposal.

    5. Doubtful - I already have a part-time job where there is currently a shortage of staff doing what I do, so I don't think I'll be at the job centre, unless that changes.

    What do you study and where Melissa?
    ah, it may not have been you that called people thickys but someone did. i just read the posts not the names on the app..
    when you say you didn't try, that's understandable and you went on to change that, but not everyone has the opportunity to start again and redo their a levels etc. my grades were awful considering what i was predicted/know i'm capable of, and as a result can't go to any of the top unis but if i was told i couldn't have a place anywhere just because of some mistakes i made at college, i would be angry. i think that not everyone goes to uni to get a degree for a job, it's about learning more about your subject. for example i want to be a lawyer but i'm not just jumping on a law course, because i am really interested in politics so have chosen this as my degree and will probably do a law conversion course later. i simply want to go to university to build on what i learnt at a level and learn more. why should that be stopped?


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    (Original post by Tweedy)
    Your suggestion seems to imply that there is no intrinsic value to a wider number of people gaining a depth of knowledge and expertise about any form of culture, be that one's own, or another. This idea is frankly disturbing. The purpose of humanities education is to broaden the mind, and to help to create a society in which knowledge and wisdom are both diverse and valued.

    We already live in a society where the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake is enormously limited. Any person who wishes to learn for three years of their life is now saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt. Postgraduate arts and humanities courses are bankrupting. We seem to believe that education should be financially profitable for the individual above all else.

    This is not the point of education. Education should allow every individual to grow and develop to their full potential in the area about which they are most passionate. It is this, and this alone, that can create a fully-developed society.
    Personally, as someone who is doing science but has time for 'arts', i feel there needs to be priority scale.

    1. The well-fare and benefit of the society and it's economy.
    2. Then that which adds value to society and culture.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Is that your roundabout way of saying I'm an idiot? Haha.

    Had there not been so much emphasis on going to university I'd probably not have gone, to be honest. None of the jobs I want require a degree. It's just the sad reality of life nowadays that a lot of jobs, too many jobs in fact, seem to 'require' a degree. Everywhere has a 'grad scheme' when there's nothing really special about a lot of graduates.

    Hurrah for you [insert generic graduate here], you read books for three years at some poly and what have you got to show for it? Any in-demand skills? Can you bring anything other to the labour market other than the ability to 'write a report' etc?
    the 'I'm alright jack' detector went off, just teasing you.

    It's fairly easy for cameron, gove etc. to *say* apprenticeship should be highly valued. What they really mean is that apprenticeships aught to be good enough for other peoples kids. Are they going to be happy about their own kids doing apprenticeships? Probably not.

    Also I think you've got law in the wrong category, the law society was warning several years ago that there were far more law graduates than training contracts and things haven't changed since afaik.
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Because it's an absolute waste of the taxpayers money to fund a student through a degree that gets put to no use.

    Degrees only give you a 'wider choice of jobs' because so many employers run graduate schemes. Originally, these schemes were meant so that employers could siphon the 'intelligent' i.e. university graduates away from the rest of the prospective job-hunters.

    These graduate schemes are now meaningless because so many people go to university. Too many people going to university has led to a very strange jobs market where positions that don't require a degree to actually do the job, require a degree to apply.

    I think that having too many students in the humanities (and social sciences, etc) subjects at university is part of this problem. You won't find many science graduates doing jobs that don't utilise their knowledge of science, but you'll find tons of Lit, Sociology and Psychology graduates doing non-specific, generic grad jobs.

    We really need to stop sending so many people to uni. It's bloody expensive and people often don't earn enough to pay their loans back, which is then a loss for the state.

    If it wasn't for the fact that you absolutely need a degree to keep up with every tom, **** and harry, I wouldn't have done one.
    You do realise the taxpayer does not pay for the degree. The student does. (in theory)
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    (Original post by ilickbatteries)
    Law is something highly specific though - it actually prepares you for a highly necessary job, you can't do any other degree that teaches you law.

    .
    In the same way that only a very few degrees would give you the knwoledge in geography/psychology you need to know to allow you to do a job using either of those degrees. :facepalm: And the same goes for some of the other subjects you had on that list.
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    (Original post by the mezzil)
    You do realise the taxpayer does not pay for the degree. The student does. (in theory)
    Only if the student earns enough in their lifetime to pay back the loan.
 
 
 
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