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University reforms: 'dead-end' courses to be named and shamed

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posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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University reforms: 'dead-end' courses to be named and shamed


www.guardian.co.uk

University courses with a poor track record of employment will be "named and shamed" under government proposals to give students a clearer choice of degree and curb the costs of tuition fee loans...

[critics]warned that the reforms would see the quality of degree courses suffer and leave students open to "market chaos" in the higher education sector.

The government also wants to see courses that are not valued by employers either scrapped or overhauled.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:39 PM
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This story is from the UK but I think it is of interest to those in the US and other advanced economies.

There is something very wrong with the higher educational system. Everyone knows it: students emerge most often with heavy debts and poor job prospects.

Every time this is brought up, somebody is sure to chime in with "yes, but you don't go to college for money; you go to enrich yourself as a human and for wisdom." Excuse me? If I'm going to take on a six-figure education debt, I hope it does yield some concrete, tangible job results. I can "enrich myself" without spending six figures. For most people, higer education is a means to a job. And what's wrong with that? We've all got to eat, right?

It was also interesting to me that the article quoted one complaint about universities having "public-sector mentalities." In the US there are some public universities, but I think the majority is private, right? But you do see the same kind of corruption in private universities as you often do in the public life because they are unreasonably protected from accountabily, IMHO.

There are some potential negatives to trhe proposed reforms...for example, could a more-directly-job-related university system be manipulated for capitalist explotitation, by encouraging certain professions or discouraging others? Could academic integrity be compromised by profit motive? But to this I would already say academics has been compromised by monye/power, so why not be clearer about what's going on?

Whatever the case, reform of some kind is needed. I'll be watching this experiment to see if they make it happen.



www.guardian.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 28-6-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I met a friend of a friend that had a PhD in Ornithology. Not a very marketable skill, but he had a high-paying job with a lot of benefits. He is extremely happy and successful.

We can't start applying values to things for people. I always heard, "Do something you love, and you will never "work" a day in your life." We can't let the government mandate what courses are marketable or not.

I see no problem with reporting job placement like a lot of universities do already, but we can't scrap classes just because certain employers don't value them.





posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 



There is something very wrong with the higher educational system. Everyone knows it: students emerge most often with heavy debts and poor job prospects.


Also, there are plenty of ways to avoid the 6-figure debt. Get good grades in highschool, go to school in-state, and work part-time while you go to school to pay your room and board. The high debt comes from kids not acting responsibly.

There is nothing wrong with our higher educational system, there is a ton of stuff wrong with our primary education system, and the values and entitlement that we instill in our youth these days. It is ridiculous.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:51 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I am from the UK and when i was 15 was told by my career advisor that if I wanted to work with computers that I was to get a job straight up in the computer industry and not waste time with university.

She was right!

I worked for Medoc (nottingham) straight out of school and was earning good money and gaining awesome experience at the same time.

I had friends who went to uni for 4 years to study computer science who still cant get work like my experience gets me.

I have also had friends that went to Uni and deliberately picked "easy and useless" courses with a view to staying on as long as they could to keep the party life going.

This is not a bad thing at all. Nowerdays businesses are tending not to employ the young with a cert straight out of Uni as they expect them to be a bit up there own **** and think they can make management in like 12 months or so.. when this doesnt happen or they get pissy .. they leave which in turn means the company has to re-hire etc... and re-train.... its alot of money more small to medium sized businesses to go through this.

You employ someone instead who is mature, has experience in the field and who has realistic expectations on promotion timing and pay increases etc... those people last longer in their jobs than the students unfortunately and so here we are.

I'm on the fence on this one as I dont think there is such a thing as a useless course as obviously students will take what they can from such courses... weather they get work or not.. its a choice they make and should be learning from regardless. I am merely expressing my experiences with friends and professional collegues.

Top post! thanks for sharing and getting my whistle wet!




posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 09:54 PM
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The student loan debt is horendous. 1 trillion dollars.

Kids are going to on to College to get degrees all the while piling up debt. What is happening is that to many of them are getting degrees for ENTRY level jobs that do not require a degree. What they find out is they can't make a living and pay back their debt.....right, wrong or indifferent....this is one problem that is happening. The other side of this coin is that the job market likes to post a job as needing education higher than high school even though it doesn't really require it.

my 2 cents.

I believe there is a CNN article on this exact situation. I'll see if I can find it.

here's one (not the one I read though):
globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com...
edit on 28-6-2011 by wdkirk because: added an article

edit on 28-6-2011 by wdkirk because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:03 PM
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i think some sort of reform is necessary. i went to a private school in the united states that was very pricey for an art degree. while i will say the experience was amazing, and did change my perspective on many many things, i wish i would have known more about the after college experience of not only finding a job that will cover your regular bills, i.e car, food, rent, insurance, phone, etc, then having to cover a student loan of x hundred dollars a month on top of it. the public should have records to the college's level of actual student success- as in, this degree/program had x amount of successful hire's in the last ten years out of y amount of students. this information is vital to making a sound decision when investing that amount of money into your own future. eliminate the less "successful" majors/programs? by all means no, but students need to know about the realities of getting a job in any field. maybe teaching the costs/benefits should be handled by the high school or more importantly the student and their parents, whomever it is, they need the cold hard numbers. if i was to say take that money for college and instead invest it in a business or a property, you would crunch all the numbers and see if it's going to work out, no reason a massive investment in your education should be handled any differently.

(on a semi-off topic note- Forgive all student debt and free up millions (people and dollars) to boost the economy!!!)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:07 PM
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So, in other words, the courses that the corporations don't like will be thrown out.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by Ghost375
 


That's how I read it.

More drones, less creativity, more like our primary school system. They finally have 1st through 12th graders following rote memorization and not questioning the status quo too much, so now it is time to attack the universities.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:14 PM
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Interesting me as a college student for 4 years now would not mind if some of the required course were modified to be more useful. One class I can think of off hand was my AP Bio class now I thought this was just the teacher but it wasn't it was all of them. This class we were given a list of all the formulas we would need to complete the work for this course and no back ground on how we arrived at that point other than that is just how it is, these are the accepted formulas and that is that. I would like to see some reform but not control, perhaps tuition reform reducing cost even further for US students along side some course reform. Idk but there does need to be something done especially if I plan to go on through my PhD.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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Back in the Viet Nam draft times I think Berkley offered a 4 year course in basket weaveing ..so kids could avoid the draft
dureing that time I met a couple of folkes operating hotel elivators.both had degrees in philosophy it was the only job they could get



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 10:50 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


Would be interested to see that list; please keep us all informed so we can help prepare our kids for their future when deciding courses



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:02 PM
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It's good when the cost of gaining higher education is offset by the higher wages and job security that you expect from it.

But I'm disappointed that this type of economic rationalism is being applied to every single thing. Whatever happened to education for the sake of education. People should be able to study classics and latin and greek and philosphy and rhetoric and other things that used to be considered the basis of a good education. Many advances in knowledge were achieved by people studying for the joy of knowledge.

Only learning what is considered to be economic means that our education is controlled by the employers ie. big business. What a way to stop people learning and rebelling.

By all means, funding for courses could be relooked at but don't every limit what people can opt to learn.

I also believe that I should be free to go and take a module at tertiary level at any time if I want to pay for it - without having to apply for admission etc. If I want to put up the cash, why can't I just go and sit in on lectures etc for my own benefit and enjoyment.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:08 PM
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The information on reward vs expense and commitment for college programs vs job opportunities is out there for every one to see if they look for it.

I think though that people (especially kids) are naive at times and because of this it might be a good idea to be proactive in educating students before they take on a course of study.

I know some schools do this with certain majors by requiring an info session or group advising session...but maybe this should be done with all majors.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:09 PM
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Although I am also not from the UK, I would hate to see this kind of control happen. I have a great job using skills I received from a technical institute but I still go to university part time in order to get a degree in a field I enjoy. It's not necessary as I don't expect to use it in my current job, and I don't have any debts to pay off either.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:14 PM
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If the courses don't lead to employment what is wrong with making that information available to students before they select them??

And if numbers decrease in those courses then that wil result in the universities themselves doing something about it.

You can only have a good free market when everyone has good information - hiding the fact that some courses are useless doesn't help anyone except the tenured teachers involved!



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:17 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I'm glad your friend with an ornithology degree is doing well. But that is one person, and for every story of one person who did something like that, there are at least a dozen who didn't. I bet the majority of your friend's classmates who were taking ornithology do not have jobs related to what they study, or at least not jobs that they can earn a living and support a family with.

Yes, there is always a place in society for ornithologists and experts on early-medieval bath tiles and what have you, but you need to design systems for the MAJORITY in society. The majority cannot have "interesting" jobs. The majority, (the vast, vast majority), if they are lucky enough to have work at all, are not involved in "creative" or "stimulating" lives.

So this is an issue of a system, not an individual. "The plural of anecdote is not data." People need to emerge from school with skills that guarantee them a living, especially as the economy gets ever grimmer with no end in site. A debtload of 100K-200K and four years out of the workforce during the critical early career stage needs to be justified with more than vague, mystical appeals to "self-cultivation." Speaking of which, do colleges even succeede in that mission? Looks like most people spend most of their time partying and "hooking up" on college campuses. I'm sure many don't, but if you are going to justify universities with "self-cultivation" than the number has to be larger than "many" -- it has to be 100% or darn close.
edit on 28-6-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:30 PM
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My sister fail into this mess. She listened to her friends that did not know jack and took 4 year course to be a secretary. When she goes to look for work thinking she had all it took she told them she know have to file and type and know how to use Word and Excel and such and they are like "So does my 3rd grader" What she had spent 4 years and good money on was outdated and being tout to school kinds in public schools. I tried to tell her what was going to happen but she believed her friends over me.



posted on Jun, 28 2011 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I agree that there are plenty of worthless degrees out there. An MBA isn't worth much these days. A degree in Psychology is basically worthless. Still, we can't all be engineers, doctors, and lawyers.

I think the disconnect is in the counseling, career planning, and in setting realistic expectations. I live in a college town, and I guarantee that every new freshman thinks their 4-year degree is going to make them rich. Nobody expects to come out of college making $30k/year, but that is the reality for a certain percentage of them, no matter what their degree is in. If FSU (my college town) graduated 10,000 lawyers this year, only a small percentage would get high-paying jobs, the rest would be working for me. (There are 2 lawyers on my staff, working for me, making $35k.)

I still don't believe the problem is in the courses offered, or the degrees offered, the problem is still in the attitude of entitlement, and in unrealistic expectations and poor planning.



posted on Jun, 29 2011 @ 12:10 AM
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I will be honest I have absolutely no illusions about what school is costing me in more than just money. I went from making 40k+vacation beni's and bonuses 5 years ago in the Methane gas fields (quit to go to school) to now making less than 12k the last few years and am still comfortable my debt is growing not terrible for my age imo. I mainly keep going to school because I love to learn that is basically it. I plan on having several advanced degrees by the time I'm done if I ever decide to stop. Now some would say why not just teach yourself the things you like to learn and I do this as well but I have found in this process my drive to learn is much greater with a grade..... gratification I guess. So in the long run this could disrupt things what if they drop entire programs like philosophy I foresee humanities courses and lib. arts classes getting axed first. kinda sad those are some of the fun ones.



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