Why we should have less universities in UK

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justlearning1469
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#1
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#1
Degree inflation has become exceptionally rampant nowadays with boatloads of universities, with 131 universities in total. This might seem like a boatload of bright people but you have to realise that someone got into law at Greenwich with merely DEE.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=7084509

Remember that Greenwich university is rank 98 in universities.
https://www.studyin-uk.com/uk-study-...sity-rankings/
This means 33 universities are below its ranking.

And remember that Greenwich university is rank 700-750 in the world.
https://www.topuniversities.com/univ...sity-greenwich

Cutting down the number of universities in UK from 131 to 100 will increase the value of a degree, reduce inflation and encourage competition for university places.
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username5821865
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#2
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#2
What about increasing the entry requirements to University?
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londonmyst
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#3
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#3
I agree, except I wouldn't stop at 100.
There are far too many universities in England providing undergrad courses that have either: dreadful reputations, appalling low standards or a toxic campus culture that ultimately results in an unsafe environment with frequent criminality/high drop out rates/suicide attempts.
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Admit-One
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#4
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#4
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Degree inflation has become exceptionally rampant nowadays with boatloads of universities, with 131 universities in total. This might seem like a boatload of bright people but you have to realise that someone got into law at Greenwich with merely DEE.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=7084509

Remember that Greenwich university is rank 98 in universities.
https://www.studyin-uk.com/uk-study-...sity-rankings/
This means 33 universities are below its ranking.

And remember that Greenwich university is rank 700-750 in the world.
https://www.topuniversities.com/univ...sity-greenwich

Cutting down the number of universities in UK from 131 to 100 will increase the value of a degree, reduce inflation and encourage competition for university places.
I got into DeMontfort with CDE. I had a great time and the soft skills that I picked up were very valuable just by themselves. I don’t really follow why I needed to face more competition or why my degree should be more or less valued than the next person?
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InfiniteWill
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#5
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#5
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Degree inflation has become exceptionally rampant nowadays with boatloads of universities, with 131 universities in total. This might seem like a boatload of bright people but you have to realise that someone got into law at Greenwich with merely DEE.
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=7084509

Remember that Greenwich university is rank 98 in universities.
https://www.studyin-uk.com/uk-study-...sity-rankings/
This means 33 universities are below its ranking.

And remember that Greenwich university is rank 700-750 in the world.
https://www.topuniversities.com/univ...sity-greenwich

Cutting down the number of universities in UK from 131 to 100 will increase the value of a degree, reduce inflation and encourage competition for university places.
Your point is valid but fail to account what type of society we live in

We have moved on from manual labour society to information-processing society. This means we are moving away from doing physical labour and towards sitting on a computer and processing information.

Therefore, we need those degrees regardless how bad they are. When people complete degree, they will become more integrated with the information society as they will be surely be more intelligent, than they started out. This allows them to get a job more easily as the roles have changed.

But employers obviously would make the distinction between good and bad degrees by looking at uni and classification of achievement so i guess its a win-win
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username5821865
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#6
I think the problem is also that too many employers are demanding applicants with degrees for jobs that don't need degrees. Yet they are the same ones to say that experience and personality is more valuable.
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daniellamg
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#7
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#7
I see where you're coming from, and your point makes a lot of sense. It is very shocking that Law, what I always believed was a very competitive degree, can have such low entry requirements.

However, I think it also depends on the degree.
For example, we may think that 131 universities in the UK is too much and needs cutting down but if you'd like to study Veterinary Medicine you only have 10 to choose from (and all of them have the same requirements of AAA with the exception of Cambridge who has A*AA). This means that, for this degree, there are many students who do not get offered a place even with grades such as A*AAA.


Maybe the problem is not that there are too many Universities but that the Universities are all offering too much of the same.
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artful_lounger
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#8
Variations of this thread get made every year. This is neither a new nor good idea.

Anecdotally one of the senior (just below the executive team) management team at the international company I am currently working at went to one of those "low ranking" universities with just average results in a BTEC, and then went into the travel industry and has risen to a very senior position in said international company.

Clearly it wasn't an issue that the university in question was "low ranking".
Last edited by artful_lounger; 3 months ago
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PQ
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#9
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#9
If you think too many people go to university then don't go and lead by example.
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RogerOxon
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#10
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#10
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Why we should have less universities in UK
Is it because then people might know when to use "fewer"?
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AmIReallyHere
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#11
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#11
(Original post by daniellamg)
I see where you're coming from, and your point makes a lot of sense. It is very shocking that Law, what I always believed was a very competitive degree, can have such low entry requirements.
It wasn't actually said that the entry requirement was DEE - the student got in with that but other situations could have caused this to occur - it could have been lots of spaces at clearing for Law, it could have been mitigating circumstances it could have even been nepotism/corruption

For entry in September 2022, you will require:

120 UCAS points from A-Levels (we also accept UCAS points from alternative Level 3 qualifications including: BTEC Nationals, the International Baccalaureate and Scottish and Irish Highers).
AND YOU WILL ALSO REQUIRE:

GCSE English (Language or Literature) AND GCSE Maths at grade 4/C or above. We also consider equivalent qualifications in English and Maths at Level 2, in place of GCSEs.
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RogerOxon
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#12
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#12
(Original post by AmIReallyHere)
It wasn't actually said that the entry requirement was DEE - the student got in with that but other situations could have caused this to occur - it could have been lots of spaces at clearing for Law, it could have been mitigating circumstances it could have even been nepotism/corruption
It doesn't really matter why they were admitted with such low grades - it's the (assumed) expectation that they will be able to cope with the course, and what says about its true level / academic value.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Variations of this thread get made every year. This is neither a new nor good idea.

Anecdotally one of the senior (just below the executive team) management team at the international company I am currently working at went to one of those "low ranking" universities with just average results in a BTEC, and then went into the travel industry and has risen to a very senior position in said international company.

Clearly it wasn't an issue that the university in question was "low ranking".
So? The question should be what percentage of graduates from sub-standard (there - I've said it) Universities get a significant career boost from it. There will always be high achievers that either didn't go to a University at their level of ability, or were late starters.
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ajj2000
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
So? The question should be what percentage of graduates from sub-standard (there - I've said it) Universities get a significant career boost from it. There will always be high achievers that either didn't go to a University at their level of ability, or were late starters.
From the most recent tables the upper quartile of Greenwich law grads earn around £37k 5 years post graduation - so probably did get a career boost. The median is £26k so again, there may be some benefit.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
So? The question should be what percentage of graduates from sub-standard (there - I've said it) Universities get a significant career boost from it. There will always be high achievers that either didn't go to a University at their level of ability, or were late starters.
So the proposal is to cut back on unis in the UK which are "substandard", which inevitably will be newer universities with lower entry requirements, in order to have fewer students going to uni. This will a) limit those who are capable of achieving very highly but for a variety of reasons may not have done so in school and b) stagnate the university sector by essentially limiting the sector to those "established" unis until they become "too big to fail" no doubt causing problems later.

At some point even very strong unis like Warwick were "new" and "untested". It takes time for universities to develop specialisms and quality research and cannot simply be manufactured out of the gate. Essex too was (and still sometimes is) considered a "new" and "substandard" uni but has developed its politics department into a very strong one which I believe had some joint research with HKS recently. Also, a lot of newer unis provide professional and vocational training in essential public services, most notably allied health professions, which are not widely or even at all represented at universities considered established and not "substandard".

It's a completely abitrary line to draw and doing so creates far more harm than allowing such "substandard" unis to attempt to establish themselves. At least there are few private for-profit universities and publicly funded universities are non-profits and subject to at least some degree of oversight and revalidation/accreditation requirements. So it's not even like they are just purely scam degree mills.
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by ajj2000)
From the most recent tables the upper quartile of Greenwich law grads earn around £37k 5 years post graduation - so probably did get a career boost. The median is £26k so again, there may be some benefit.
Greenwich is in London though, so salaries should be expected to be "high". A comparison with other Universities in London is interesting.

The median five years after graduation is £27.7k. From a quick scan of the data, this looks to be the lowest of any London University. UCL is at £50k. Oxford tops the list (and is outside London) at £72.6k. (Source)
Last edited by RogerOxon; 3 months ago
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ajj2000
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(Original post by RogerOxon)
Greenwich is in London though, so salaries should be expected to be "high". A comparison with other Universities in London is interesting.

The median five years after graduation is £27.7k. From a quick scan of the data, this looks to be the lowest of any London University. UCL is at £50k. Oxford tops the list (and is outside London) at £72.6k. (Source)
True - but by the same token a higher proportion of the London economy is office based jobs so the added value of gaining the law degree might be greater than elsewhere. I doubt many UK students at Greenwich had the A level grades to get into competitive positions so comparison with UCL, LSE law etc is not so much the question as whether the course benefitted the participants. For a public sector, legal secretary type career it could be very valuable/
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
So the proposal is to cut back on unis in the UK which are "substandard", which inevitably will be newer universities with lower entry requirements, in order to have fewer students going to uni. This will a) limit those who are capable of achieving very highly but for a variety of reasons may not have done so in school and b) stagnate the university sector by essentially limiting the sector to those "established" unis until they become "too big to fail" no doubt causing problems later.

At some point even very strong unis like Warwick were "new" and "untested". It takes time for universities to develop specialisms and quality research and cannot simply be manufactured out of the gate. Essex too was (and still sometimes is) considered a "new" and "substandard" uni but has developed its politics department into a very strong one which I believe had some joint research with HKS recently. Also, a lot of newer unis provide professional and vocational training in essential public services, most notably allied health professions, which are not widely or even at all represented at universities considered established and not "substandard".
My biggest issue is with funding, rather than the number of "University" places. Because of the ability to charge £9250 for just about any "degree" (e.g. Hair and Make-up Design), there is a financial incentive to turn training courses into "degrees".

I believe that we should give better funding to the most capable students. These will have a much higher probability of repaying the cost, through higher tax payments, or of advancing their subject areas (for less commercial subjects). I would have real loans for anyone not qualifying for funding, which would be ~80% of current students. They would have to pay these back, or work in in-demand areas (e.g. as teachers) to get government repayments.
(Original post by artful_lounger)
It's a completely abitrary line to draw and doing so creates far more harm than allowing such "substandard" unis to attempt to establish themselves. At least there are few private for-profit universities and publicly funded universities are non-profits and subject to at least some degree of oversight and revalidation/accreditation requirements. So it's not even like they are just purely scam degree mills.
There needs to be more oversight of degrees. I simply do not believe that a University accepting DEE (or whatever the average is for the course) will get a significant percentage of their students to the same standard as one requiring A*A*A (before the recent joke grades). The degrees simply cannot be of the same standard. As it is, the tax payer subsidises the least economically worthwhile degrees.

University is now seen by many as 3-4 years of paid partying, and as a right, regardless of ability.
Last edited by RogerOxon; 3 months ago
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justlearning1469
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#19
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#19
(Original post by Throwaway48)
What about increasing the entry requirements to University?
That's a decent point, the entry requirements should be increased, the pass rate of A levels should be decreased.

Even then as @londonmyst said there are unis with appallingly long standards with toxic cultures which should be shut down.

Some universities do deserve to be shut down, even if it's not down to 100 we can shave it down to 120.

96 UCAS Tariff points from Anglia Ruskin University - ARU for business management.
https://aru.ac.uk/study/undergraduat...ess-management
Seriously you're going to accept boatloads of people with merely CCC?

80 UCAS points so basically at minimum CCE for biological science?
https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/co...gical-science/
Someone with CCE should get a job instead, usually.

Anglia Ruskin University - ARU is rank 117 so you can make a case to shut down some universities.

I chose 100 because it was a pretty convenient number that eliminated those which are poor.
Last edited by justlearning1469; 3 months ago
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by ajj2000)
True - but by the same token a higher proportion of the London economy is office based jobs so the added value of gaining the law degree might be greater than elsewhere. I doubt many UK students at Greenwich had the A level grades to get into competitive positions so comparison with UCL, LSE law etc is not so much the question as whether the course benefitted the participants. For a public sector, legal secretary type career it could be very valuable/
Let's rename those course then, e.g. "Introduction to Law", if a good mark cannot get you a competitive Law post.
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