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Should English unis become market places from 2015? Watch

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    Many might scowl at my title, but essentially, the government's decision to abolish caps on university places from 2015 will change higher education in England if left unopposed.

    This means there'll be a scramble to the top, and university will even more increasingly behave like companies marketing products, market places.

    On a much related point, universities such as my own (Sussex), Russell Group unis such as Queen Mary and Birmingham, Leicester which was formerly a part of the 1994 Group with Sussex, and Sheffield Hallam, have been giving some students unconditional offers before they even receive their A-level results as an incentive to drive up student numbers.

    This strikes a blow right to the heart of the higher education establishment. Am I right to oppose in principle the removal of the admissions cap? Or do unis genuinely need to modernise?
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Many might scowl at my title, but essentially, the government's decision to abolish caps on university places from 2015 will change higher education in England if left unopposed.

    This means there'll be a scramble to the top, and university will even more increasingly behave like companies marketing products, market places.

    On a much related point, universities such as my own (Sussex), Russell Group unis such as Queen Mary and Birmingham, Leicester which was formerly a part of the 1994 Group with Sussex, and Sheffield Hallam, have been giving some students unconditional offers before they even receive their A-level results as an incentive to drive up student numbers.

    This strikes a blow right to the heart of the higher education establishment. Am I right to oppose in principle the removal of the admissions cap? Or do unis genuinely need to modernise?



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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Many might scowl at my title, but essentially, the government's decision to abolish caps on university places from 2015 will change higher education in England if left unopposed.

    This means there'll be a scramble to the top, and university will even more increasingly behave like companies marketing products, market places.

    On a much related point, universities such as my own (Sussex), Russell Group unis such as Queen Mary and Birmingham, Leicester which was formerly a part of the 1994 Group with Sussex, and Sheffield Hallam, have been giving some students unconditional offers before they even receive their A-level results as an incentive to drive up student numbers.

    This strikes a blow right to the heart of the higher education establishment. Am I right to oppose in principle the removal of the admissions cap? Or do unis genuinely need to modernise?
    Won't that just mean that the graduate market will be flooded. Does Gove really want everyone to be jobless?
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Won't that just mean that the graduate market will be flooded. Does Gove really want everyone to be jobless?
    Apparently, globally, emerging countries such as China are producing far more graduates than us - so we have to keep up in the 'global race'
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    As long as we see higher education as a product (which is another debate altogether) I don't see an issue with letting universities act like companies by reacting to supply and demand.

    The opposition claim degrees will become less valuable. With commodities such as milk, for example, this has led to supermarkets reducing prices (milk is therefore less 'valuable') yet no one is complains about this.

    All that will happen is jobs will require tougher minimum requirements, which if people want to work to achieve I don't see a massive issue with.
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    (Original post by Comeback)
    As long as we see higher education as a product (which is another debate altogether) I don't see an issue with letting universities act like companies by reacting to supply and demand.

    The opposition claim degrees will become less valuable; but with commodities such as milk this has led supermarkets to reduce prices and no one is complaining they have better access to it or they can't show off to their friends by showing them their fridge.
    Comparing higher education with milk is... interesting. You really are, nearly quite literally, comparing chalk with cheese...
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Comparing higher education with milk is... interesting. You really are, nearly quite literally, comparing chalk with cheese...
    *Putting the enjoyment of education aside* both a degree and milk are luxuries; you don't need them to live. Both a degree and milk could be argued to have a certain economic value also, universities acting like companies is not so different to supermarkets making profits.

    Therefore, although there are some differences, I think it's an valid comparison (not the best of course but I didn't have much time to think )
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Apparently, globally, emerging countries such as China are producing far more graduates than us - so we have to keep up in the 'global race'
    Yeah, students in China apparently pay their way through their degree if they can't pass the modules on their own. By that logic, the government shouldn't the government also allow us to pay our way to getting first class honours degrees, so that we produce 'high quality graduates' and keep up with the competition? I've got a better idea, why doesn't the government just allow us to skip uni completely and exchange 27k for our degrees, speeding up the process of producing graduates?
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    (Original post by Comeback)
    *Putting the enjoyment of education aside* both a degree and milk are luxuries; you don't need them to live. Both a degree and milk could be argued to have a certain economic value also, universities acting like companies is not so different to supermarkets making profits.

    Therefore, although there are some differences, I think it's an valid comparison (not the best of course but I didn't have much time to think )
    I think your comparison is definitely valid in the climate higher education is in at the moment!

    I think, unlike milk which is available to everyone, universities should have more of a niche market and, while a luxury, a luxury earned rather than a luxury bought?
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    I think your comparison is definitely valid in the climate higher education is in at the moment!

    I think, unlike milk which is available to everyone, universities should have more of a niche market and, while a luxury, a luxury earned rather than a luxury bought?
    Yes, while I think anyone who works hard enough should have the chance to go to university it is unfortunate so many people who are intelligent (but not in an academic way) feel pressured to go down the uni route - which in turn makes the degree less valuable. Some people just suck at studying; that doesn't mean they can't be incredibly successful and make money. The issue is BTECs and many 'vocational' routes are often seen as second class to degrees.

    I'm not sure how the snobbery concerning education can be solved, but it is vital to sorting out the higher education system. I don't think Gove's numbering of GCSES 1-9 is quite going to cut it, unfortunately :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Comeback)
    Yes, while I think anyone who works hard enough should have the chance to go to university it is unfortunate so many people who are intelligent (but not in an academic way) feel pressured to go down the uni route - which in turn makes the degree less valuable. Some people just suck at studying; that doesn't mean they can't be incredibly successful and make money. The issue is BTECs and many 'vocational' routes are often seen as second class to degrees.

    I'm not sure how the snobbery concerning education can be solved, but it is vital to sorting out the higher education system. I don't think Gove's numbering of GCSES 1-9 is quite going to cut it, unfortunately :rolleyes:
    Although Gove gave an opportunity for more people to pursue their higher education, but by having more graduates, he indirectly also increased competition for graduate jobs, which can depress wages. So who wins? Largely, the employers and universities. The employers can pick and choose while the Unis rake in the cash to give those people this illusion of an opportunity to attain a brighter future.
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    (Original post by 1drowssap)
    Although Gove gave an opportunity for more people to pursue their higher education, but by having more graduates, he indirectly also increased competition for graduate jobs, which can depress wages. So who wins? Largely, the employers and universities. The employers can pick and choose while the Unis rake in the cash to give those people this illusion of an opportunity to attain a brighter future.
    I agree totally. I guess if you go to uni due to your passion for a subject (and not with any belief you will be 'entitled' to job security at the end of it) it's not quite as daunting a prospect to consider.
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    This is definitely one of your pithier responses, Nulli.
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    (Original post by carnationlilyrose)
    This is definitely one of your pithier responses, Nulli.
    It's the pauses between the silences that indicate the eloquence of my comments.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    It's the pauses between the silences that indicate the eloquence of my comments.
    That was about as eloquent as eloquence gets. Positively John Cage in its eloquence.
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    Is this for real or just speculation at moment ?

    I think a removal of the cap without reforming the fees structure will be a disaster which of course I suppose UK being UK will be what will happen
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    (Original post by Numberwang)
    Apparently, globally, emerging countries such as China are producing far more graduates than us - so we have to keep up in the 'global race'
    Haha let's ignore the fact that China's population is 21 times of the UK's.
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    (Original post by Comeback)
    *Putting the enjoyment of education aside* both a degree and milk are luxuries; you don't need them to live. Both a degree and milk could be argued to have a certain economic value also, universities acting like companies is not so different to supermarkets making profits.

    Therefore, although there are some differences, I think it's an valid comparison (not the best of course but I didn't have much time to think )
    Not a valid comparison. Drinking milk doesn't change you much but having a degree makes a lot fewer people go for the essential jobs which do not require academic knowledge but technical knowledge. It also delays massively the age of people starting to work and contribute to the economy that way.
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    (Original post by Zenomorph)
    Is this for real or just speculation at moment ?

    I think a removal of the cap without reforming the fees structure will be a disaster which of course I suppose UK being UK will be what will happen
    I think it is for real but this is not telling the whole story - the cap, as I understand, is lifted only for higher performers, ie people who get either ABB or AAB. So not people who get FFF or EEE or DDD.

    So instead of having everybody into universities, second-tier universities will get everybody whilst leaving the ex-polies for the most part starved to death.
 
 
 
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