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Bristol Arch department
#21
If we got rid of all the excess students and all the support infrastructure maybe it would solve this country's financial problems, plus I'd be able to afford a house 'round where I'm living (all bought up at excessive prices for student lets). Back to the 5% I say, that'd be plenty to satisfy all the 'real' graduate jobs in this country, plus my degree would be worth something again. Very noticeable that it's the students that own all the nice cars around here too, so they don't get too much sympathy on the money front, don't seem to recall many students even owning cars when I did my degree-with-a-grant

Sorry, felt like having a rant about something :face-approve:
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#22
Why on earth did we get rid of the Polytechnics? (Changing the names and aspirations to those of universities)

They really did serve a purpose and what was wrong with technical non degree courses? Why on earth should some one wanting to undertake practical hands on type job have to go through a 3 year degree course with written course work that really does not have much bearing on the job they will actually do? I am not just thinking about archaeology.

Three years is a long time to commit to study and have to support yourself financially. I really do not know how today’s students do it and suspect that we are no longer looking at a meritocracy in the education system but the bank of Mum & Dad. If you can afford it you can buy anything including a degree!


Ranting in sympathy with DinosaurWink
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#23
I do think this is one of the best threads I have read in a while.. full of real discussion and options that should be read by most students as well.

There are several deeper issues here to be explored.
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#24
Wax Wrote:Three years is a long time to commit to study and have to support yourself financially. I really do not know how today’s students do it and suspect that we are no longer looking at a meritocracy in the education system but the bank of Mum & Dad. If you can afford it you can buy anything including a degree!

I have never understood why the UK can't live with a modular degree system where students take courses as and when they can afford them with generous time spans allowed in which to gain a degree - lets say 9 modules required within a maximum 10 year period. This would seem to be a way to make both education affordable and also to mix study learning with practical work/life experience. It wouldn't stop anyone from doing a straight 3 year full time degree, but would give an extra incentive for less well off students or students with other committments (familes for example) to fit further learning around a real life. Of course it wouldn't be as lucrative for colleges and universities......(and I guess that answers why it isn't more widespread)...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#25
"Why on earth did we get rid of the Polytechnics? (Changing the names and aspirations to those of universities)"

We didn't get rid of polytechnics as such, we got rid of the artificial divide creating a two teir system. Of the 20 top universities, 12 are now post -1994 universities. Only one of the whole group of 100+ has kept the 'polytechnic' in their name. They didn't only offer technical vocational courses, but research based degrees as well. I would agree that we need far fewer students, fewer courses and fewer departments, though I would hate to see parental income being used to ration education. Some universities in the states have an income blind admission policy, so they decide if you're good enough, and then they work out how much to charge you. We also need more distance learning and modular degrees, though the Open Univeristy and places like Leicester does this pretty well.
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#26
Quote:Of course it wouldn't be as lucrative for colleges and universities......(and I guess that answers why it isn't more widespread)...
More that it has the potential to be an organisational and financial nightmare. A department could find itself in the position of turning students away (effectively losing money in the process, especially if those students never return) one year, then having too few students to pay the bills the next. In practice, the best way to avoid that risk would be to dramatically increase class sizes so the averaging effect of large student numbers irons out some of the interyear variation, meaning the yearly finances would be less variable--at the expense of lowering teaching standards through large class sizes.

And I say this as someone who thinks modular NAmerican style degrees would be a vast improvement on the UK locked-into-your-preset-course-of-study system.
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#27
Dinosaur Wrote:If we got rid of all the excess students and all the support infrastructure maybe it would solve this country's financial problems, plus I'd be able to afford a house 'round where I'm living (all bought up at excessive prices for student lets). Back to the 5% I say, that'd be plenty to satisfy all the 'real' graduate jobs in this country, plus my degree would be worth something again. Very noticeable that it's the students that own all the nice cars around here too, so they don't get too much sympathy on the money front, don't seem to recall many students even owning cars when I did my degree-with-a-grant

Sorry, felt like having a rant about something :face-approve:


Not sure that getting rid of 'excess' students and infrastructure would solve this country's financial problems! - the education system also plays a role for the economy.

You were lucky to get a grant - average student debts is now meant to be in the region of ?23,500
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#28
"You were lucky to get a grant - average student debts is now meant to be in the region of ?23,500 "

Which is why I think we're going to get far fewer people going into archaeology, especially as the tories want to start charging more commerical rates for the loans. I still owe a ton of money and I graduated seven years ago. And no, i didn't have a flash car when I was at university.
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#29
The point I was trying to get over is that there's actually no need for all these degrees and us being taxed to death to pay for people to get them. My social crew include people fairly high up in a wide range of professions (including the 'chief software architect' (whatever that is) in a major software firm, the managing director of an advertising industry multinational, a fairly senior NHS bod, a construction firm gaffer and a university professor (not archaeology), to give you a flavour of the range of interests), and all of them suffer the curse of having to employ know-nothing graduates that they have to totally re-train from scratch, usually for tasks that never needed a graduate in the first place. Most modern 'graduate' jobs have merely been re-graded as such since the market's flooded with graduates......does archaeology really need people with degrees to bale-out flooded trenches and shift soil A to spoil-heap B/ - I think not! People with 3 extra years experience on site would be considerably more useful (frankly for the little benefit I got from Uni I'd have been better off sticking to digging), and would have saved the taxpayer a bundle too :face-stir:
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#30
Research by the Sutton Trust published this week suggests that 80% of 'young people' now expect to go onto university.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/education/10355042.stm

I wouldn't (couldn't) disagree with the logic that you don't need a degree to empty dustbins, but surely one of the aims of a university education is that it enables people greater access to a much wider range of choices in life ..... a person with a degree can decide to work in a low paid profession such as archaeology or aspire to become a company director, a leading surgeon, manage a construction company or even become a university professor. A person lacking in formal education would find many of those options restricted......

I have to say Dinosaur that your professor friend complaining about the standard of graduated students probably needs to examine their conscience more closely than they examine their salary cheque ....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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