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Intellectual elitism is what Uni should be about - not a means to educate everyone Watch

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    The higher education policy in the UK is in tatters. The increased tuition fees, coupled with Coalition gov policy to lift the lid on the number of students allowed in the UK's HE system has made a £5.55bn 'black hole' (article) in education finance. And what is worse still, our generation would foot the bill for this (could increase to £300bn+ in our lifetime) and yet mature (50 years old +) still get a free education (article)!

    Is it me or is this just so depressing? When is our gov going to stop trying to force everyone through uni (which adds little value to students who study rubbish degrees) at the expense of the smaller group of people who should be going to uni? Is that comment elitist? Well yes, but intellectual elitism....which is what uni is all about!
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    Clearly government would not let the hole in public finance for higher education grow to £300 billion! It is a very bad year for politics however, given the general election next year - politicians will do their best to avoid anything they deem would be unpopular.

    On your point about intellectual elitism, I agree to the point that some degrees are completely useless but there is definitely scope to have more people studying STEM subjects.
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    People need to stop taking stupid subjects

    Only STEM degrees pls. No BS micky mouse courses

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    (Original post by Thamos)
    The higher education policy in the UK is in tatters. The increased tuition fees, coupled with Coalition gov policy to lift the lid on the number of students allowed in the UK's HE system has made a £5.55bn 'black hole' (article) in education finance. And what is worse still, our generation would foot the bill for this (could increase to £300bn+ in our lifetime) and yet mature (50 years old +) still get a free education (article)!

    Is it me or is this just so depressing? When is our gov going to stop trying to force everyone through uni (which adds little value to students who study rubbish degrees) at the expense of the smaller group of people who should be going to uni? Is that comment elitist? Well yes, but intellectual elitism....which is what uni is all about!
    I completely agree. I'd give you a rep but I've used all mine up for today It annoys me so much the amount of people who are just like 'I'm going to uni to study land and country planning' or some other pointless degree; and how people just EXPECT you to go to uni as soon as you reach the appropriate age. It's so irritating. University is such a privilege, and in my opinion it should only be for those who are truly PASSIONATE about their subject, and will truly gain something from studying it at a really high level.
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    I agree.

    The issue of "what" subjects should be studied is complicated and will ultimately be very controversial. So controversial in this Liberal prison of an Island that the changes are unlikely to ever be reversed.

    It would be in my opinion good to segregate the degree system. Set up technical schools (for Maths and Science) at lower grades and subside the cost of education which would be beneficial to the UK as there is a lack of scientists and engineering.

    Universities should house only facilitating subjects for example the sciences, Humanities and Social sciences as opposed to Business degrees.
    Education has become a joke. I make no apologies when I feel disgusted that illiterate chavs who see education as a progression of partying as a right into FE get in.
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    I don't think that must be qualified as intellectual elitism. I think what we're trying to say is that letting anyone go to college just to study rubbish degrees makes education an illusion, basically. I think "education for everyone" doesn't mean letting anybody go to college. Instead, I believe it means to provide the population (even the lower classes) with what is necessary to engage in academic life. So if unis were extremely competitive but high schools were able to prepare even the student with financial problems, I'd say such system would be "education for everyone".
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    Surely non STEM subjects are still useful to Britain? We still need good photographers/farmers
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    (Original post by Motash)
    Surely non STEM subjects are still useful to Britain? We still need good photographers/farmers
    I highly doubt photographers and farmers need a degree to be able to do their jobs. They are going to uni for the sake of going.
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    true - education is a privilege, not a right
    it is basically a gamble to invest money in something like education
    and you can't give everybody money to gamble
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    Blah STEM STEM blah. You'd think from reading TSR that only STEM students actually gain graduate jobs.

    There are some ridiculous degrees but take what I've studied, Economics. Regarded as a solid discipline with a significant weighting towards Maths, Statistics and Econometrics while at the same time requiring you to be proficient in essay writing. Plenty of Economics graduates have high paid jobs, just like every other discipline.

    Despite this it's a social science, something that some STEM students would look down on and lump it with business studies and finance.
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    (Original post by frith27)
    Blah STEM STEM blah. You'd think from reading TSR that only STEM students actually gain graduate jobs.

    There are some ridiculous degrees but take what I've studied, Economics. Regarded as a solid discipline with a significant weighting towards Maths, Statistics and Econometrics while at the same time requiring you to be proficient in essay writing. Plenty of Economics graduates have high paid jobs, just like every other discipline.

    Despite this it's a social science, something that some STEM students would look down on and lump it with business studies and finance.
    No they wouldn't. There are a number of STEM worshippers on this forum and while I agree with your overall point, I have never heard of any STEM students looking down on Economics students.
    They may not know anything about it but I'm sure they'd quickly link it to money + LSE + instant employment.

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    (Original post by ZeniB)
    I completely agree. I'd give you a rep but I've used all mine up for today It annoys me so much the amount of people who are just like 'I'm going to uni to study land and country planning' or some other pointless degree; and how people just EXPECT you to go to uni as soon as you reach the appropriate age. It's so irritating. University is such a privilege, and in my opinion it should only be for those who are truly PASSIONATE about their subject, and will truly gain something from studying it at a really high level.
    That is actually a degree with very good career prospects, as the country is short of town and country planners. :mmm:
    Nobody wants to study it either, which is why there is a shortage of town and country planners.
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    The system you suggest would result in an affluence and social class divide. In order to ensure that only the most passionate and intellectually gifted reach University, harsh admission processes must be enacted - similar to those in place at Oxbridge. And, what do we have at Oxbridge? A class divide; and it does exist. Why? Why, because the private schools provide kids with a much fuller, and more respected education (IGCSEs, rather than GCSEs, for example); consequently making it much simpler for the richest to access the top universities, being better qualified. Allowing only to most qualified, and those that appear to be the most intellectual, to attend, is to make University for the rich, and mediacracy for the poor.
    While it is true that this is an issue, there is no fair way to weed out the most intelligent. For example, an impoverished Michael Faraday was never allowed into any formal education, due to his simple inability to keep up with his privately educated, more affluent peers. Nonetheless, he discovered electromagnetism.
    Your system is a replica of an older one, and would not only create a divide at Universities and, consequently, in society, but also result in us preventing the next Faraday from discovering the next E=mc^2.
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    (Original post by RocketCiaranJ)
    The system you suggest would result in an affluence and social class divide. In order to ensure that only the most passionate and intellectually gifted reach University, harsh admission processes must be enacted - similar to those in place at Oxbridge. And, what do we have at Oxbridge? A class divide; and it does exist. Why? Why, because the private schools provide kids with a much fuller, and more respected education (IGCSEs, rather than GCSEs, for example); consequently making it much simpler for the richest to access the top universities, being better qualified. Allowing only to most qualified, and those that appear to be the most intellectual, to attend, is to make University for the rich, and mediacracy for the poor.
    While it is true that this is an issue, there is no fair way to weed out the most intelligent. For example, an impoverished Michael Faraday was never allowed into any formal education, due to his simple inability to keep up with his privately educated, more affluent peers. Nonetheless, he discovered electromagnetism.
    Your system is a replica of an older one, and would not only create a divide at Universities and, consequently, in society, but also result in us preventing the next Faraday from discovering the next E=mc^2.
    The class divide at Oxbridge is overstated in my opinion (and there are arguments that its overstatement might dissuade good applicants from applying). However, the question to discuss is whether the money purportedly saved by the proposals of the OP could be put to effective use in demolishing this class divide, as you perceive it.

    I think that it is important to note that the more stringent admissions procedures at Oxbridge are actually there to help choose out the best applicants regardless of their schooling and background though.
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    (Original post by DJMayes)
    The class divide at Oxbridge is overstated in my opinion (and there are arguments that its overstatement might dissuade good applicants from applying). However, the question to discuss is whether the money purportedly saved by the proposals of the OP could be put to effective use in demolishing this class divide, as you perceive it.

    I think that it is important to note that the more stringent admissions procedures at Oxbridge are actually there to help choose out the best applicants regardless of their schooling and background though.
    It is impossible to differentiate between natural intelligence, and a high quality education. Also, though the class division might be a stereotype, it nonetheless exists.
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    (Original post by Moonstruck16)
    No they wouldn't. There are a number of STEM worshippers on this forum and while I agree with your overall point, I have never heard of any STEM students looking down on Economics students.
    They may not know anything about it but I'm sure they'd quickly link it to money + LSE + instant employment.

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    I have seen supposed STEM students look down on anything that isn't STEM, which includes Economics, Law etc.

    Fair point regarding LSE, but the number of (educated) people I speak to who instantly equate Economics to the study of money or banking is alarming.
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    They are probably the village idiots then

    It's a crazy world but what are you going to do. Be happy that you're probably more well informed.

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    The Labour government (and, if fact, previous Tory government) saw the opening up of higher education as a way to please a lot of their aspiring-to-be-middle-class voters without any real system changes in how we undertake compulsory education (because it would mean an admission that the current comprehensive system is a postcode lottery that fails far more than it helps).

    I would support the return to a more restrictive HE sector, but only if it was accompanied by a reformed, fully funded compulsory and further education system.
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    (Original post by RocketCiaranJ)
    The system you suggest would result in an affluence and social class divide. In order to ensure that only the most passionate and intellectually gifted reach University, harsh admission processes must be enacted - similar to those in place at Oxbridge. And, what do we have at Oxbridge? A class divide; and it does exist. Why? Why, because the private schools provide kids with a much fuller, and more respected education (IGCSEs, rather than GCSEs, for example); consequently making it much simpler for the richest to access the top universities, being better qualified. Allowing only to most qualified, and those that appear to be the most intellectual, to attend, is to make University for the rich, and mediacracy for the poor.
    While it is true that this is an issue, there is no fair way to weed out the most intelligent. For example, an impoverished Michael Faraday was never allowed into any formal education, due to his simple inability to keep up with his privately educated, more affluent peers. Nonetheless, he discovered electromagnetism.
    Your system is a replica of an older one, and would not only create a divide at Universities and, consequently, in society, but also result in us preventing the next Faraday from discovering the next E=mc^2.

    (Original post by RocketCiaranJ)
    It is impossible to differentiate between natural intelligence, and a high quality education. Also, though the class division might be a stereotype, it nonetheless exists.
    Pfft. There's a very simple way to take into account student background, and it's already put in place by many top universities. All you have to do is look at performance on the degree versus type of school attended (private, comp, grammar, etc) and/or versus parental income/education for specific grades achieved, and there you go.

    For example the Sutton Trust showed that state school students with ABB outperform private school students with ABB at university.

    Interestingly, at Cambridge they've found no correlation between school type and degree performance. The A*A*A* students they take from state schools do a very tiny bit better than private school A*A*A* students in STEM subjects, and the private schoolers with A*A*A* in turn do a very tiny bit better at humanities/social sciences, but the differences are insignificant. Perhaps at the top end of ability, pushy parents and an encouraging school don't make as much difference as those with more middling ability.
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    (Original post by ClickItBack)
    Pfft. There's a very simple way to take into account student background, and it's already put in place by many top universities. All you have to do is look at performance on the degree versus type of school attended (private, comp, grammar, etc) and/or versus parental income/education for specific grades achieved, and there you go.

    For example the Sutton Trust showed that state school students with ABB outperform private school students with ABB at university.

    Interestingly, at Cambridge they've found no correlation between school type and degree performance. The A*A*A* students they take from state schools do a very tiny bit better than private school A*A*A* students in STEM subjects, and the private schoolers with A*A*A* in turn do a very tiny bit better at humanities/social sciences, but the differences are insignificant. Perhaps at the top end of ability, pushy parents and an encouraging school don't make as much difference as those with more middling ability.
    By allowing only the A*A*A* people into University, you prevent anyone who might have made the slightest mistake from gaining a quality education. Again, we would be missing the best Einstein.
 
 
 
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