Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Going to University is Different from Going to College

Putting university entrance as the most desirable objective of the school system has had a dreadful result for school education and a poor result for university education.  The aim of enjoyment of a university education for all who could undertake one is wholly admirable.  But its provision should have been far more flexible than simply expanding acceptance rates at 18 to under-qualified and under-motivated school leavers.  The extension of a degree level qualification  to many quite mundane jobs, particularly in the state sector, that were formerly entered by those with school leaving qualifications, or at most A-levels, compounded the degredation  of degree-level study.  And as so many entered the university system the possibilities for support while studying for a degree, and for free tuition, receded.

Mass university entrance by possession of a school 18+ diploma requires a university system set up for: high levels of low-level teaching support similar to those within schools; integral provision for part time and distance learning; module-style examination systems; locally-based institutions with most undergraduates living at home.  The style of university teaching and research that in the UK has been beseiged by degree-seeking school students is inappropriate.  Models of the mass system abound - America, many continental European countries,  or - the past, too, being another country - technical colleges and polytechnics.

Somehow expanding tertiary education and training has become bound up with notions of employment qualification,  egalitarianism and universal availability.  Lopping money from LSE, UCL, Cambridge -  fill in choice of university of repute, or  individual faculties within any outstanding institution of learning and research -  satisfies such atavistic Labour urges but  does nothing for reforming any part of our failing educational systems at any and every level.

Update: Mr HG requires the spelling 'degradation'.  But his English is much better than mine.

5 comments:

Scrobs... said...

It was Yoof job creation Hats wasn't it?

Rape the pensions of savers, and chuck it around so that many of the kids who'd go straight on the state could be taken off the jobless lists.

This is possibly the meanest and definitely the most dishonest badge this failed administration threw at the citizens of UK inc.

Goodbye to all that soon anyway...

Have a great Christmas Hats, I've particularly enjoyed reading your posts because they knock all dead tree press comment into the proverbial cocked - er - Hat!

Scrobs... said...

Sorry to have to post twice Hats, (this was niggling earlier), but is this relevant at all?

Surely not yet another sneaky way to get student loans/debt increased?

Anonymous said...

Is not going to University or College the secret desire of all Nulabor as in their hearts they all want to be toffs.
You could save money be giving everyone a top hat at birth.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

You're right about Universities, Hats, and Mr. HG is right about spelling!

hatfield girl said...

He always is, Yachts, it's the classical lyceum education. They used to translate their Latin unseens into Greek, for a laugh!