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Technical degrees might be launched in 2015! Watch

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    http://www.theguardian.com/education...l-degrees-plan

    Ed Milliband has promised to create a plan for technical degrees - degrees aiming at creating technicians in science, technology, engineering & mathematics.

    What do you think of his plans? How will it affect more traditional degrees?
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    (Original post by Armadillo)
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...l-degrees-plan

    Ed Milliband has promised to create a plan for technical degrees - degrees aiming at creating technicians in science, technology, engineering & mathematics.

    What do you think of his plans? How will it affect more traditional degrees?
    I think it's a great idea! I don't think it'll affect traditional degrees, just perhaps limit the amount of people that take them.

    As this article says, it's to reflect the demand for technicians and engineers needed to complete the big infrastructure projects coming up in the next few years - high-speed rail and the Thames Tideway.

    The main organisation representing manufacturing, the EEF, has already backed the plan.

    We do need to be a bit more like Germany and balance our economy from the financial sector, anyway - so this is all good news!
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    I think it's a great idea! I don't think it'll affect traditional degrees, just perhaps limit the amount of people that take them.

    As this article says, it's to reflect the demand for technicians and engineers needed to complete the big infrastructure projects coming up in the next few years - high-speed rail and the Thames Tideway.

    The main organisation representing manufacturing, the EEF, has already backed the plan.

    We do need to be a bit more like Germany and balance our economy from the financial sector, anyway - so this is all good news!
    Not got the grades for BA media studies - be an engineer instead!

    Seems to be some dishonesty about addressing these new schemes at the forgotten 50% who don't go into uni at the moment... If this gets launched I think it'll more likely be poaching the students who are currently enrolling on quasi vocational degrees (e.g. forensic science BSc) rather than leaving current degree enrollment untouched and making inroads into the next lowest strata of academic achievement.

    I note he's making the speech to the sutton trust - which will of course turn its nose up at these new qualifications and continue to focus on who's getting into traditional degree courses at the unis which are on it's list and becoming investment bankers.
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    both a terrible and good idea.

    yes, alot of focus should be placed on training students for technical positions but is this really something that needs a degree?

    Why can we not place more emphasis on people undertaking apprenticeships for these roles? in these industries and for these roles they are very specific and would it be best to apply broad degree knowledge to it? also, the graduates will be coming out with little work experience versus work based learning. will they look better to employers than business run schemes?
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    (Original post by Armadillo)
    http://www.theguardian.com/education...l-degrees-plan

    Ed Milliband has promised to create a plan for technical degrees - degrees aiming at creating technicians in science, technology, engineering & mathematics.

    What do you think of his plans? How will it affect more traditional degrees?

    (Original post by themightysals)
    both a terrible and good idea.

    yes, alot of focus should be placed on training students for technical positions but is this really something that needs a degree?

    Why can we not place more emphasis on people undertaking apprenticeships for these roles? in these industries and for these roles they are very specific and would it be best to apply broad degree knowledge to it? also, the graduates will be coming out with little work experience versus work based learning. will they look better to employers than business run schemes?
    It is badly explained in this article. Milliband claims this is something done in Germany. Well, I know the German system very well. What I think he refers to are "dual degrees". These are NOT "technician degrees". They are like normal degrees, but half of the year is spent at university and the other half in work, so they are much more intense (per year you only have two weeks holiday instead of five months as for traditonal degrees...). So for example, you can do a degree in Electronic Engineering (BEng). Every year, you will spend three months (intensive) at university, three months at work with your sponsor, three months at university, three months at work with your sponsor. You will not be a "technician" at the end of it. You will be an engineer. (Although in some cases, if you get an apprenticeship qualification for the time you spent working, you will technically be qualified to be both.) This is a very good system for non-rich students because you get paid a salary throughout your degree by your sponsor, and it is excellent for the sponsor as well because they get loyal and well-trained employees in a skill-shortage field. I am a huge fan of dual degrees.

    By contrast, in Germany a technician is someone who has done a three year apprenticeship, and such a person may be admitted on a dual degree (or indeed a traditional degree) if he meets other requirements as well, but (I repeat) the degree itself is NOT a "technician" degree, and certainly NOT aimed at "producing technicians". That is the role of apprenticeships. (I also think it is laughable to suggest that the 50% who don't go to university at the moment could hack such a degree. If they could, they'd currently be studying Engineering.)

    Perhaps Milliband means something else? But if so, I don't know where he gets his Germany reference from. I really don't think we have technical degrees to produce "technicians".

    I agree with you about introducing proper apprenticeships - three years with exams at the end. In Germany, 70% of the population (give or take) do apprenticeships after school (including many people who went to grammar schools). In England it is around 5-10%. I find this astounding.
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    Personally I don't think it will help the current "gap" as such. More apprenticeships yes, but trying to get it so that everyone goes to university (and under what time scale does he think he can do this and with what money?) it's a bit ambitious imo.
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    I agree with Milliband in that I think there should be clearer progression in a vocational pathway:

    Academic route:
    • Primary
    • Secondary
    • Grammar College (A-Levels)
    • Undergraduate Degree (or move into vocational route)
    • Postgraduate Degree (Academic Research)


    Vocational route:
    • Primary
    • Secondary
    • Technical College (Tech-Levels &| 3-year Apprenticeship (could easily be combined))
    • 3-year Higher Apprenticeship &| sponsored Undergraduate Degree in specific field (could be combined)
    • Master Craftsman | Master Entrepreneur | Technical Postgraduate Degree in specific field (Applied Research)


    Obviously most people would not progress through every level, but a clear structure of progression would be very useful and go a long way to establish apprenticeships as a "proper" and respectable alternative to A-Levels.

    (But I think Gove has similar ideas to Milliband in this respect. At least I think that's why he's revamping vocational qualifications at Levels 2 and 3 at the moment.)
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    Yes, sounds good.

    But, while we're at it, the facilities needed for such new technical degrees don't exist outside the top tier universities who'll be reluctant to dilute the esteem of their institutions, so let's build some new universities for these technical courses. We can call them "Technics".

    Obviously, though, there'll be more than one type of technical courses taught at these places, so we'd need a name that reflected that nature.

    Polytechnics, anyone?

    Typical politics - preparing for the future, by revisiting the past.



    And let's not kid ourselves with Apprenticeships, yes, they're a good idea in principle, but the conditions of them are beyond ridiculous. £2/hr for 2 years? Who can live like that?
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    How is this any different to current HNCs and HNDs? And what exactly is a maths technician?
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    (Original post by llys)
    It is badly explained in this article. Milliband claims this is something done in Germany. Well, I know the German system very well. What I think he refers to are "dual degrees". These are NOT "technician degrees". They are like normal degrees, but half of the year is spent at university and the other half in work, so they are much more intense (per year you only have two weeks holiday instead of five months as for traditonal degrees...). So for example, you can do a degree in Electronic Engineering (BEng). Every year, you will spend three months (intensive) at university, three months at work with your sponsor, three months at university, three months at work with your sponsor. You will not be a "technician" at the end of it. You will be an engineer. (Although in some cases, if you get an apprenticeship qualification for the time you spent working, you will technically be qualified to be both.) This is a very good system for non-rich students because you get paid a salary throughout your degree by your sponsor, and it is excellent for the sponsor as well because they get loyal and well-trained employees in a skill-shortage field. I am a huge fan of dual degrees.

    By contrast, in Germany a technician is someone who has done a three year apprenticeship, and such a person may be admitted on a dual degree (or indeed a traditional degree) if he meets other requirements as well, but (I repeat) the degree itself is NOT a "technician" degree, and certainly NOT aimed at "producing technicians". That is the role of apprenticeships. (I also think it is laughable to suggest that the 50% who don't go to university at the moment could hack such a degree. If they could, they'd currently be studying Engineering.)

    Perhaps Milliband means something else? But if so, I don't know where he gets his Germany reference from. I really don't think we have technical degrees to produce "technicians".

    I agree with you about introducing proper apprenticeships - three years with exams at the end. In Germany, 70% of the population (give or take) do apprenticeships after school (including many people who went to grammar schools). In England it is around 5-10%. I find this astounding.
    The UK offers a lot like what you've stated in regards to the 50/50 split courses. I'm guessing that the difference is the means of advertisement, many companies offer programs that combine degrees and work based learning its just nobody really knows/understands them as a career path. schools dont really discuss them, tbh the only focus schools have is the level of student going to uni as a bragging right.

    Im guessing in germany there is both a lot less stigma to the courses available as well as it being seen as a legitimate path to choose? not that in the uk they arent legitimate, but people tend to have a whiff of snobbery when it comes to education
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    I think there needs to be a lot more professional apprenticeships. When people think of apprenticeships, they usually think about being a mechanic or a hairdresser. In reality there are a lot of careers that require a professional qualification. Obviously I know accountancy does, but I think aircraft engineers can do further qualifications, and i'm sure there are many other professions that do. They should be advertised a lot more.
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    (Original post by themightysals)
    The UK offers a lot like what you've stated in regards to the 50/50 split courses. I'm guessing that the difference is the means of advertisement, many companies offer programs that combine degrees and work based learning its just nobody really knows/understands them as a career path. schools dont really discuss them, tbh the only focus schools have is the level of student going to uni as a bragging right.

    Im guessing in germany there is both a lot less stigma to the courses available as well as it being seen as a legitimate path to choose? not that in the uk they arent legitimate, but people tend to have a whiff of snobbery when it comes to education
    Yeah I have seen Rolls Royce and some Accountancy firms offer what you describe and that sounds similar to a "dual" degree. I'd be all for rolling that out more widely across industry.

    There is some snobbery in Germany, but much less I think. For example, it is quite normal for grammar school pupils to go on to do an apprenticeship and then they may or may not go to university afterwards. I think apprenticeships are very well respected by most people. It may be because so many people do them. But still, there are a few people who are snobbish about them! You get snobs everywhere. Dual degrees are very popular and come with a lot of kudos (at least with the people I know - perhaps because it is harder to get onto a dual degree?), but in Germany, most of the universities that offer dual degrees can't (or didn't use to be able to - not sure how it is now) offer PhD degrees (for an unrelated reason), so the same type of snobs would think doing a n undergraduate degree at a different university is better. (Which makes little sense IMO, but I don't think a lot of people think that, anyway.)
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    (Original post by llys)
    It is badly explained in this article. Milliband claims this is something done in Germany. Well, I know the German system very well. What I think he refers to are "dual degrees". These are NOT "technician degrees". They are like normal degrees, but half of the year is spent at university and the other half in work, so they are much more intense (per year you only have two weeks holiday instead of five months as for traditonal degrees...). So for example, you can do a degree in Electronic Engineering (BEng). Every year, you will spend three months (intensive) at university, three months at work with your sponsor, three months at university, three months at work with your sponsor. You will not be a "technician" at the end of it. You will be an engineer. (Although in some cases, if you get an apprenticeship qualification for the time you spent working, you will technically be qualified to be both.) This is a very good system for non-rich students because you get paid a salary throughout your degree by your sponsor, and it is excellent for the sponsor as well because they get loyal and well-trained employees in a skill-shortage field. I am a huge fan of dual degrees.

    By contrast, in Germany a technician is someone who has done a three year apprenticeship, and such a person may be admitted on a dual degree (or indeed a traditional degree) if he meets other requirements as well, but (I repeat) the degree itself is NOT a "technician" degree, and certainly NOT aimed at "producing technicians". That is the role of apprenticeships. (I also think it is laughable to suggest that the 50% who don't go to university at the moment could hack such a degree. If they could, they'd currently be studying Engineering.)

    Perhaps Milliband means something else? But if so, I don't know where he gets his Germany reference from. I really don't think we have technical degrees to produce "technicians".

    I agree with you about introducing proper apprenticeships - three years with exams at the end. In Germany, 70% of the population (give or take) do apprenticeships after school (including many people who went to grammar schools). In England it is around 5-10%. I find this astounding.
    Everything that this guy has said, no wonder Germany is doing so well.
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    Yes this sounds like a very elaborate way of recreating something we only just got rid of, namely Polytechnics.

    To paraphrase Cheryl Cole, I promise this - had TSR been around 25 years ago, there would be a few thousand threads about how ratchet it is to apply for PCAS at all - "Is it looked down upon to apply for PCAS?"
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    (Original post by Clip)
    Yes this sounds like a very elaborate way of recreating something we only just got rid of, namely Polytechnics.
    Glad I'm not the only one who thought so. See post 8
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    (Original post by Smack)
    And what exactly is a maths technician?
    Exactly what I'm wondering.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    And what exactly is a maths technician?
    (Original post by rayquaza17)
    Exactly what I'm wondering.
    Let me clear it up then.

    It is someone who uses routine (or implements less routine) mathematical / numerical operations to help solve problems in science or business. So for example you may write simulations for technical projects, or custom software for image analysis, that sort of thing. Of course, these days you would call this "scientific computing" (or business computing if you are working in a more business related role) but the job description originated in the 60s and has evolved since then while names have a habit of hanging around.
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    (Original post by llys)
    Let me clear it up then.

    It is someone who uses routine (or implements less routine) mathematical / numerical operations to help solve problems in science or business. So for example you may write simulations for technical projects, or custom software for image analysis, that sort of thing. Of course, these days you would call this "scientific computing" (or business computing if you are working in a more business related role) but the job description originated in the 60s and has evolved since then while names have a habit of hanging around.
    Doesn't sound like the sorts of task you'd give to someone who's currently heading for the 'lost 50%'
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Doesn't sound like the sorts of task you'd give to someone who's currently heading for the 'lost 50%'
    Yeah, I totally agree.
 
 
 
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