Turn on thread page Beta

Is the UK education system too restrictive? watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I'm going to university this fall to study an English literature degree. While I love my subject and I love reading, my interests in the sciences have recently sparked up again. Unfortunately I can't change to do a science degree now because I was confined to pick 3 A-levels and did 3 arts and humanities subjects as encouraged by my school.

    Since everyone is always complaining about there not being enough people doing STEM, why not stop making the education system so damn restrictive to begin with? I hardly knew what I wanted to do or specialise in when I was 16 picking my A-levels; I just listened to my elders. If I could turn back time I would've done 2 science A-levels and done a biochemistry degree or engineering. But I can't do that now because I'm restricted by my subject choices.

    I prefer the American system of majoring and minoring subjects until you discover what you really want to do. That way if anyone regrets doing an arts and humanities degree, they can start over and take beginner classes again to major in something like Mechanical engineering.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I think the "idea" of the American system is good but it isn't implemented as well as it could be. Definitely a more liberal system is good if you need that freedom and flexibility in subject choice. But otherwise I think the UK system has its own merits - namely that the concentration means there's no bs if you're set on what you want to do.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Student403)
    I think the "idea" of the American system is good but it isn't implemented as well as it could be. Definitely a more liberal system is good if you need that freedom and flexibility in subject choice. But otherwise I think the UK system has its own merits - namely that the concentration means there's no bs if you're set on what you want to do.
    The UK system gives no room to maneuver though

    I want to study STEM and do an Engineering degree but now I'm stuck with an arts degree. I wasn't advised well at all by my school. We always hear about the government complaining there isn't enough STEM graduates, and here i am a hard working student who wants to do a STEM degree but can't. It sucks man.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by grassntai)
    The UK system gives no room to maneuver though

    I want to study STEM and do an Engineering degree but now I'm stuck with an arts degree. I wasn't advised well at all by my school. We always hear about the government complaining there isn't enough STEM graduates, and here i am a hard working student who wants to do a STEM degree but can't. It sucks man.
    That is unfortunate! Honestly though I've read that a faculty member at my uni got a Masters in Engineering a few years after a Bachelor's in Music. So your undergrad isn't the be all and end all
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by grassntai)
    The UK system gives no room to maneuver though

    I want to study STEM and do an Engineering degree but now I'm stuck with an arts degree. I wasn't advised well at all by my school. We always hear about the government complaining there isn't enough STEM graduates, and here i am a hard working student who wants to do a STEM degree but can't. It sucks man.
    Lots of unis offer foundation courses that are precisely for people who took the 'wrong' A-levels. You could definitely still do a STEM degree
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Look at foundation courses or access courses. It will take an extra year... But if you want it bad enough etc. The education system is not as restrictive as you think and doors are not permanently shut because of your A level choices.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    There are tons of universities that offer joint honours or a "minor" choice. UCL for example lets engineering students minor in a wide range of subjects ranging from accounting to nanotechnology. They also have a really interesting degree called the BASc when you can major and minor in a science and humanities subjects. I've heard that Scottish unis offer such options as well. As the poster above me mentioned, there's foundation programs as well that a variety of RG unis accept.

    It's certainly not as flexible a system as in the US, but it's something. And my personal opinion is that too much flexibility is not a good thing either - I have a lot of friends studying in the States and honestly the kind of indecisiveness they encounter in their classmates is crippling. There are people for example who take all kinds of classes throughout their four years but somehow not enough within the same faculty to graduate with a degree. Thus they spend more and more money graduating when an undergrad certificate should be about dedicated study of a single field (or two) and not little knowledge of a range of things.

    (Original post by Student403)
    That is unfortunate! Honestly though I've read that a faculty member at my uni got a Masters in Engineering a few years after a Bachelor's in Music. So your undergrad isn't the be all and end all
    ^this. A faculty member at my uni did a master's in history from a top uni but eventually did a PhD in GIS. She now teaches civil engineering students - imagine that.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by theonetruequeen)
    It's certainly not as flexible a system as in the US, but it's something. And my personal opinion is that too much flexibility is not a good thing either - I have a lot of friends studying in the States and honestly the kind of indecisiveness they encounter in their classmates is crippling. There are people for example who take all kinds of classes throughout their four years but somehow not enough within the same faculty to graduate with a degree. Thus they spend more and more money graduating when an undergrad certificate should be about dedicated study of a single field (or two) and not little knowledge of a range of things.
    .
    Surely there's a limit though to the amount of times you can change your major? If not there should be. And I disagree, I think having a range of knowledge is better than specialising in one field. Because let's face it, most of what we learn in undergraduate really is not going to aid the majority of students in their career. I would love to take a foundation course but I have family pressurising me to finish university in 3 years and get a job to support the family. And an extra £9000 to pay for is difficult for someone like me who's from a low income background.

    Looking back now I wish I did the IB. My awful comprehensive didn't offer that option.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by grassntai)
    The UK system gives no room to maneuver though

    I want to study STEM and do an Engineering degree but now I'm stuck with an arts degree. I wasn't advised well at all by my school. We always hear about the government complaining there isn't enough STEM graduates, and here i am a hard working student who wants to do a STEM degree but can't. It sucks man.
    I would urge you to take a year out if you really want to do engineering and not English Literature at uni. Make the changes now when you know there's need for them and have the chance to make them. You only get funded for one undergraduate degree and engineering isn't the sort of thing you can just pick up at masters level.

    I would urge you to look at a relevant level 3 btec or possibly an hnc in something that you do want to do with the view to being able to study that subject at uni such as btec level 3 applied science or similar in engineering.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by grassntai)
    Surely there's a limit though to the amount of times you can change your major? If not there should be. And I disagree, I think having a range of knowledge is better than specialising in one field. Because let's face it, most of what we learn in undergraduate really is not going to aid the majority of students in their career. I would love to take a foundation course but I have family pressurising me to finish university in 3 years and get a job to support the family. And an extra £9000 to pay for is difficult for someone like me who's from a low income background.

    Looking back now I wish I did the IB. My awful comprehensive didn't offer that option.
    Yeah, there's no limit. Besides, you can enter as an undecided student and no one really monitors your choice of courses except in really rigorous Ivys etc.

    Personally I feel that high school education should be broader and undergrad education should be restrictive, because what's the point in university anyway then? I realise that some people take longer to decide on their future ambitions but honestly uni was supposed to be for people who wanted to further their education in a certain field. That purpose is clearly eroding now bit by bit as university education is considered a prerequisite for good jobs, but ultimately IMO a master of one is better than a jack of all trades. Just my opinion. Peace

    You can try convincing your parents by telling them how much more you'll earn if you do engineering instead of english literature. There are various websites which can help you compare graduate starting salaries for both of them. If your family is not well off especially, I feel it's really in your best interest to pursue a high paying STEM field over humanities.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you think parents should charge rent?
Useful resources
Uni match

Applying to uni?

Our tool will help you find the perfect course

Articles:

Debate and current affairs guidelinesDebate and current affairs wiki

Quick link:

Educational debate unanswered threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.