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The Second Debate - Is university education now worth anything? watch

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    (Original post by happysunshine)
    Oh come on! Degrees are not like 'cookery usin' gas mrk 3'. We need people to take the frowned upon cookery degrees, it is a requirement of all schools to provide food technology education. However, it can be argued a chef doesn't need a degree seeing as there HND's etc. but chefs like other professions need to stand out.

    Having a lot of people taking degrees is good, providing they are taking them to help society. As I've already mentioned on another thread we have a massive shortage of teachers and a lot of jobless graduates.

    Half of the people taking degrees get 2:1s, which I admit doesn't exactly seperate or add worth to the brightest students. But this is planning to change.

    Oh and if it was like the 'old days', would you, me and many other people even get as far as A-levels?

    Probably not but then we would probably end up in the same jobs with less education and much less debt. My gradnparents all had good jobs without any qualifications. My dad was a librarian he did that course after A levels, the entry requrments were EE, now you can only to that course if you're a post graduate.
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    Surely with more and more people obtaining degrees you just have to keep going one better - gone are the days when a First meant anything, you now have to do masters or phd's in order to have any edge over the competition for jobs. The government shouldn't be trying to make eryone do one or we'lll just end up spending the rest of our lives in education!
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    The Oxbridge graduates I have met have been the cream of British youth- rich and thick. [wham, bam, thank you, Sam]
    Im certainly not rich and I wouldn't say I was thick, but Oxford offered me a place. Don't know if I'll make it though, as AAA when two subjects are entirely self-taught is looking rather impossible
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    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    With more and more people "goin 2 uni 2 do social skills and cookery usin' gas mrk 3" has university education now lost its status and become somthing that people choose to do rather than being clever enough which was what it was in the old days.

    i think in some cases people go to uni just to waste another few years of their life before getting a job. this is certainly the case with one of my friends who has no academic bone in her body having got a D at As level Biology and passed GCSE maths on the 9th attempt (least i can't fault her for trying ) and is off to kingston university in september to do a biology degree. sometimes i feel like saying, how can you do a biology degree when you can't manage AS level, but people like her feel like they have no alternative to go to university, as without a degree there are virtually no decent job prospects in the area.

    my dad is having a similar problem when he recruits university graduates to work for him in quanity surveying. whilst the people he hires have 2:1's in quantity surveying they have no knowledge of surveying in the real world and as a result end up losing the company heaps of money in very basic errors. the point is that in some subjects, like surveying, which has a very vocational basis, it might not be better to have degrees in the subject at all and instead train people after their GCSE's on the job.

    i might have veered away from the issue there a bit, but, i guess my answer is yes, in some instances university education has definately lost its status. this is partly down to mickey mouse courses, but also the goverments strategys of encouraging people that are not up to university standard (i.e D and E grade students) to get a university education. surely there should be other options for D/E grade students rather than forcing them to attend mediocre places like TVU to do pointless courses like *whispers* ( )media studies etc..
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    Well I wouldn't say media studies was pointless (though studied at TVU it probably is) however thats another argument.

    I feel very much in the middle in these kind of arguments and feel like a complete hypocrite studying at Salford although I have no issues with the university or my course.

    I do however think that people who got D/E's in their A levels should not be at university. I got a B in my AS Buisness Studies and half of that was self taught, I would regard myself as quite dumb as well.

    People who get E/D for no genuine reasons should have done a modern appcentiship instead. They would probably end up in a far better job. I sometimes wish I had gone down this route even though I have seen from my own personal experience the benifets of university education.
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    (Original post by VoodooDoll)
    my dad is having a similar problem when he recruits university graduates to work for him in quanity surveying. whilst the people he hires have 2:1's in quantity surveying they have no knowledge of surveying in the real world and as a result end up losing the company heaps of money in very basic errors. the point is that in some subjects, like surveying, which has a very vocational basis, it might not be better to have degrees in the subject at all and instead train people after their GCSE's on the job.
    Does this not suggest that there is also a problem with your dad's recruitment methods?
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    A fine example is journalism. At one time people left school as soon as they could, worked and trained on a local paper, and went on from there. Now they are expected to get a degree and start then, perhaps six or seven years later than they used to.
    Lots of long-serving journalists (e.g. John Simpson, Brian Hanrahan) have university degrees so I don't entirely agree with the "work your way up" argument. The only journalist who I can think of who didn't go to University is John Pilger but I think he attended a Journalism College for a few years in Australia?
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    (Original post by shiny)
    The only journalist who I can think of who didn't go to University is John Pilger
    A warning against not going to university if ever there was one!
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    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    I do however think that people who got D/E's in their A levels should not be at university. I got a B in my AS Buisness Studies and half of that was self taught, I would regard myself as quite dumb as well.

    People who get E/D for no genuine reasons should have done a modern appcentiship instead. They would probably end up in a far better job. I sometimes wish I had gone down this route even though I have seen from my own personal experience the benifets of university education.
    I'm afraid I don't agree at all.

    My sister ballsed up her A levels (EEE (and a B in general studies)). And then managed to balls up her degree too (she spent too much of her 2nd yr enjoying being a student, spent her 3rd yr abroad becoming very depressed and homesick and miserable and so didn't have the marks or grounding to pull it back in her 4th yr - she ended up with a pass). Despite this she learnt so much from her time at university and grew hugely as a person that she is now in a position that she would never have achieved had she got an office junior/shop job (all that was available in Liverpool at the time) and worked for those 4 years instead.

    Yes she's built up debt and yes in theory she has little to show for those years studying...but she doesn't regret a day of it. Her degree taught her so much indirectly.

    What employers are looking for is someone who can do the job they're paying for, do it well and without sulking and who will turn up for work every day on time and work till hometime. If a degee will help you do any of these things then it's well worth the money. If at the same time it can teach you to live independantly, manage your finances, deal with the world like an adult and how to deal with other human beings without resorting to fart gags then thats another added bonus.

    Oh and I got a D at A level...maybe I should have given it all up and gone to work in Littlewoods call centre like some of my friends?
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    (Original post by rednirt)
    The government shouldn't be trying to make eryone do one
    The current Govenment seem to want everybody to be the same. If you don't get the grades at A level it doesn't matter, you can go through clearing, take a year out, do an access course... In answer to the initial question, I think the value of a degree is being severly diminished because anyone, at any time of their life can go to uni and get one. So in order to separate yourself from the crowd you have to carry on with education and get yourself into even more debt! Don't get me started on mature students... :mad:
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    A warning against not going to university if ever there was one!
    Actually I know two. Piers Morgan went to Harlow College!
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    I'm afraid I don't agree at all.

    My sister ballsed up her A levels (EEE (and a B in general studies)). And then managed to balls up her degree too (she spent too much of her 2nd yr enjoying being a student, spent her 3rd yr abroad becoming very depressed and homesick and miserable and so didn't have the marks or grounding to pull it back in her 4th yr - she ended up with a pass). Despite this she learnt so much from her time at university and grew hugely as a person that she is now in a position that she would never have achieved had she got an office junior/shop job (all that was available in Liverpool at the time) and worked for those 4 years instead.

    Yes she's built up debt and yes in theory she has little to show for those years studying...but she doesn't regret a day of it. Her degree taught her so much indirectly.

    What employers are looking for is someone who can do the job they're paying for, do it well and without sulking and who will turn up for work every day on time and work till hometime. If a degee will help you do any of these things then it's well worth the money. If at the same time it can teach you to live independantly, manage your finances, deal with the world like an adult and how to deal with other human beings without resorting to fart gags then thats another added bonus.

    Oh and I got a D at A level...maybe I should have given it all up and gone to work in Littlewoods call centre like some of my friends?

    I was meaning like all E ,D's. I probably didn't really make my point very clear. I was just sayingthat in the old days a degree almost guareented you a good job but now it just seems to be what A levels were 10 years ago.

    Of course I realise the merits of a degree or I wouldn't be getting into debt myself. What I said wasn't entirly my opinion but made as a debate.

    I just look at a lot of my mates who are not in university have semi good jobs (if £12k a year is considered that) and have lots of money to spend where as it will be years until I am in this position as I will be paying back my £7,500 debt.

    So what do you think made your sister grow into a better person just because of university? Was it the indepenance or the chance to mix with better educated people?
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    (Original post by shiny)
    Lots of long-serving journalists (e.g. John Simpson, Brian Hanrahan) have university degrees so I don't entirely agree with the "work your way up" argument.
    I said used to: some still do, perhaps. Certainly many journalists- especially newspaper journalists- followed this course. It made them more reliable I think: if you made a mistake the people concerned would know where you worked and the editor would be so worried about losing advertising they'd make sure you got it right next time. On the other hand, perhaps when they could get away withit they didn't bother about the truth anything like as much.
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    (Original post by amazingtrade)
    I was meaning like all E ,D's. I probably didn't really make my point very clear. I was just sayingthat in the old days a degree almost guareented you a good job but now it just seems to be what A levels were 10 years ago.

    Of course I realise the merits of a degree or I wouldn't be getting into debt myself. What I said wasn't entirly my opinion but made as a debate.
    As was my disagreeing with it

    I just look at a lot of my mates who are not in university have semi good jobs (if £12k a year is considered that) and have lots of money to spend where as it will be years until I am in this position as I will be paying back my £7,500 debt.
    £12k is not a semi good income - it's £6.50ph based on a standard working week...not far off minimum wage. Having been on that wage and living independantly it is not enough to live off unless you live in an area with cheap rents and don't have to travel to work.

    So what do you think made your sister grow into a better person just because of university? Was it the indepenance or the chance to mix with better educated people?
    independence

    a foothold in a more prosperous city

    meeting a wider range of people and learning to get along with people she didn't like

    spending 4 years studying a subject she enjoyed (languages)

    spending a year in another country and experiencing another way of life (albeit one that she didn't enjoy - but then learning to deal with being unhappy and working through it is an important lesson)

    managing her own time and living with the consequences of bad management (she was not happy about her degree result...and it's completely changed her attitude to work, her A level results she blamed on her teachers)

    taking responsibility for her own actions.

    Her confidence sky rocketed despite her apparant "failure".

    And of course she met her husband.

    Even if you don't enjoy your time as a student you learn a lot about yourself and the world. I personally felt I grew more as a person by having to deal with being unhappy at my original university and having to sort out switching course/uni than I grew from spending time studying. I learnt more from my classmates and colleagues than I did from lectures.

    Valuing a degree based solely on the certificate you gain at the end of it is naive - employers don't employ a piece of paper. If three years you gain some skills/develop an better attitude/gain some knowledge that will help you later in life than a degree is worthwhile. If an EE student studying media studies at TVU learns to manage their own money and not get into debt and have to have their life bailed out by the state then surely that's a bonus and more than pays for 3 years of course fees.
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    As was my disagreeing with it

    [QUOTEI just look at a lot of my mates who are not in university have semi good jobs (if £12k a year is considered that) and have lots of money to spend where as it will be years until I am in this position as I will be paying back my £7,500 debt.
    £12k is not a semi good income - it's £6.50ph based on a standard working week...not far off minimum wage. Having been on that wage and living independantly it is not enough to live off unless you live in an area with cheap rents and don't have to travel to work.
    [/QUOTE]

    $12k a year is borderline poverty isn't it?
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    (Original post by Howard)
    £12k is not a semi good income - it's £6.50ph based on a standard working week...not far off minimum wage. Having been on that wage and living independantly it is not enough to live off unless you live in an area with cheap rents and don't have to travel to work.

    $12k a year is borderline poverty isn't it?
    sort the quoting out people.
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    (Original post by Howard)
    $12k a year is borderline poverty isn't it?
    Pretty much

    I couldn't afford to go to work and pay my mortgage on it (in fact I couldn't even manage on £14k which was my income including overtime)....I woudln't have a credit card debt if I hadn't spent 9 months earning £12k (over 2 years ago and I'm still paying it off).
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    sort the quoting out people.
    oops my fault - fixed now....
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    (Original post by Howard)
    £12k is not a semi good income - it's £6.50ph based on a standard working week...not far off minimum wage. Having been on that wage and living independantly it is not enough to live off unless you live in an area with cheap rents and don't have to travel to work.
    $12k a year is borderline poverty isn't it?[/QUOTE]

    Yes but if you're earning £12k a year and living at home, aged 20 thats not a bad age. Also this pay would soon rise I would expect if he gets promotion, he works for the inland revenue so its not like a dead end job.

    Does anybody know what the average salary is in the UK? I thought it was around £16k
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    (Original post by Pencil Queen)
    Pretty much

    I couldn't afford to go to work and pay my mortgage on it (in fact I couldn't even manage on £14k which was my income including overtime)....I woudln't have a credit card debt if I hadn't spent 9 months earning £12k (over 2 years ago and I'm still paying it off).
    Unbelievable. My first job I was paid the princely sum of 6k. Horrific now I think about it. Of course the more you earn the higher your expectations and the more you spend. Pay me a million a year and I'd spend every cent of it.
 
 
 
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