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University Bubble Making Hissing Sounds

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3 minutes ago, debtlessmanc said:

Guilty, things is those of us who have been in the business for 30 odd years have been saying this to anyone who would listen for 20 odd years. But they don't listen, even my own kids would not listen they wanted the university experience and would pay or at least borrow for it. However, there is the other side for me, my last few PhD/project students were from the physics school, really smart and really motivated and in the end they have got really well paid jobs (eg patent attorney or oil and gas). The problem is, as everyone keep saying, a university system was designed for the top few % academically. That is were everyone seems to see themselves, jet setting executives. Personally as a quite senior academic having to deal with up their **** "managers" who know will not trust someone like me to teach people in the approved way,  I sometimes wish I had trained to be a plumber....

I wouldn't knock the value of knowledge for its own sake. But there are still too many degrees taken.

 

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1 minute ago, debtlessmanc said:

Guilty, things is those of us who have been in the business for 30 odd years have been saying this to anyone who would listen for 20 odd years. But they don't listen, even my own kids would not listen they wanted the university experience and would pay or at least borrow for it. However, there is the other side for me, my last few PhD/project students were from the physics school, really smart and really motivated and in the end they have got really well paid jobs (eg patent attorney or oil and gas). The problem is, as everyone keep saying, a university system was designed for the top few % academically. That is were everyone seems to see themselves, jet setting executives. Personally as a quite senior academic having to deal with up their **** "managers" who know will not trust someone like me to teach people in the approved way,  I sometimes wish I had trained to be a plumber....

I finished my MSC almost 30 years ago.

Even then, as I went into what little job market the early 90s recession provided, I'd reckon that HE was pointless for at least 50%.

Back then, loads - and I mean loads- of grads went into scammier end of early 90s finsec - life insurers, personal pension, endowment mortgage. All were huge employers, comissioned based of course....

I remember, stupidly, going into a financial review at my bank. Some idiot grad - he told me- could not understand why a I as a single, 24yo renter,  didn't want to buy life insurance.

After the finsec blew up, for some reason.... the UG started pouring into Browns economic miracle of public sector and banks expansion. Both increasing by a few million up til 2008, when something else went wrong again.

I'm not sure what non vocational grads do these days. There does not to be any demand andor dumb employer.

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Just now, Si1 said:

I wouldn't knock the value of knowledge for its own sake. But there are still too many degrees taken.

 

I still do Maths odds n sods. I enjoy it, its neat.

However, I dont use much in work.

I also like going off on tangent on history, making full use of wikipedia and Google. Its interesting and adds to my enjoyment of life. It doesn't put food in the table though.

No way on earth  would I put myself 50k in debt and have no earnings for 3 years though.

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8 minutes ago, Si1 said:

I wouldn't knock the value of knowledge for its own sake. But there are still too many degrees taken.

 

I don't but I am not totally sure that is what is being sold, I got involved in a disciplinary case (as an independent) in the language school, half the class were native speaking immigrants or children of immigrants who wanted an easy degree (non European language) the other half where genuinely interested Europeans who felt completely shut out by the first half. Total waste of time. The case itself had enough racial/religious/gender issues flying around to feed a whole conference for the sociology school.

Edited by debtlessmanc

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Go back 50 years, and a limited number of selected bright kids went to grammar school, and a limited number of them went to university, However, all the grammar school kids were taught to get O levels at 16 (many sat them at 15), and A levels at 18. It is only hearsay I know, but it is said that kids of today would be completely stumped by the difficulty and advanced nature of the old O and A levels. One can only conclude that the O level of 50 years ago is the equivalent of an A level today, and so a lot of today's university teaching is merely covering the ground and trying to inculcate thinking and learning disciplines that were once handled at A level.

One of the net results is that employers probably favour MSc certs over BSc, and universities are only too happy to oblige in taking an extra one or two years fees off of students.

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I was going to add a remark about how the UK should produce more science and maths grads, and how arts degrees are really a poor training for the brain. Then I realized that only 3 out of the current Cabinet of 25, have science/maths degrees. 4 of the top Labour shadow appointments so far are PPEs(Oxford) or Politics (Newcastle).

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45 minutes ago, onlooker said:

Go back 50 years, and a limited number of selected bright kids went to grammar school, and a limited number of them went to university, However, all the grammar school kids were taught to get O levels at 16 (many sat them at 15), and A levels at 18. It is only hearsay I know, but it is said that kids of today would be completely stumped by the difficulty and advanced nature of the old O and A levels. One can only conclude that the O level of 50 years ago is the equivalent of an A level today, and so a lot of today's university teaching is merely covering the ground and trying to inculcate thinking and learning disciplines that were once handled at A level.

One of the net results is that employers probably favour MSc certs over BSc, and universities are only too happy to oblige in taking an extra one or two years fees off of students.

There was a lot of dumbing down in Blairs year.

The big scam to look out was 'equivalent to 5 gcses', where a kid went on day release to college to do hairdressing or some very low level trade.

My oldest is in the gcses year now. I've bought all the course books. I can assure you that, least the maths n science stuff, is not dumbed down. I did get some old o level papers to check.

I can speak or the non science n maths subjects, but a levels are still pretty hard. And they are much more advanced than o levels from 60s, 70s n 80s.

 

 

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1 hour ago, debtlessmanc said:

I don't but I am not totally sure that is what is being sold,

For sure

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1 hour ago, spyguy said:

My niece has started a job that she could have done at 18, rather than 24 with a 10% slim on her earnings for the next for a degree that has nothing to do with her job.

That is what haunts me re my time at University.

Ultimately time spent cannot be regained.

My time chasing a degree amounts to years of lost earnings.

I simply didn’t appreciate the value of time aged eighteen.

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2 hours ago, winkie said:

Coronavirus is opening us up to new ways of working....I am sure that, along with technology will show us new ways of learning....😉

Like reading a book???

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I am hoping that this Corona virus situation will inspire someone/organisation to but together a whole accredited degree course that you can do using Udemy courses for about £15 per course.  You would then go to an official exam centre to sit the exam for another fee. 

 

A whole degree could be done for under £1k, with the advantage (or maybe disadvantage) you could be working while doing the degree, and also living with parents rather than racking up debt.

 

I know the OU does something similar, but to me it is way too expensive (I looked at doing some courses for fun, but quickly changed my mind)

Edited by reddog

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4 hours ago, onlooker said:

I was going to add a remark about how the UK should produce more science and maths grads, and how arts degrees are really a poor training for the brain. Then I realized that only 3 out of the current Cabinet of 25, have science/maths degrees. 4 of the top Labour shadow appointments so far are PPEs(Oxford) or Politics (Newcastle).

As you rise up the hierarchy of many (most?) companies the proportion of science grads drops. 

Those arts degrees seem to be a better preparation for the social/political side of office life. Some of the brightest people I have known never progressed beyond team head for this reason. 

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2 hours ago, reddog said:

I am hoping that this Corona virus situation will inspire someone/organisation to but together a whole accredited degree course that you can do using Udemy courses for about £15 per course.  You would then go to an official exam centre to sit the exam for another fee. 

 

A whole degree could be done for under £1k, with the advantage (or maybe disadvantage) you could be working while doing the degree, and also living with parents rather than racking up debt.

 

I know the OU does something similar, but to me it is way too expensive (I looked at doing some courses for fun, but quickly changed my mind)

If you are quick you could do what daughter has done, and go to a EU country for your degree. She is studying Physics in Munich course cost is 120Euro per term, she gets subsidised accommodation plus a small bursary from the university (available to foreign students) which also helped her to get a well paid part time job.  

At the end of three years she expects to have a degree, a second language and no debt. 

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42 minutes ago, Confusion of VIs said:

If you are quick you could do what daughter has done, and go to a EU country for your degree. She is studying Physics in Munich course cost is 120Euro per term, she gets subsidised accommodation plus a small bursary from the university (available to foreign students) which also helped her to get a well paid part time job.  

At the end of three years she expects to have a degree, a second language and no debt. 

Is her degree taught in English or German? thanks

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1 hour ago, tyres said:

Is her degree taught in English or German? thanks

It's taught in German but the notes can be provided in English. Her tutorials are held in English, as all the teaching staff are fluent English speakers (they have to be as higher degrees are already taught in English and there are plans for first degrees to be bilingual).

She had very basic GCSE grasp of German when she arrived then went on a 4 week intensive German course prior to the start of her course.  She is in the second year now and has pretty good German.     

 

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Hundreds of university staff to be made redundant due to coronavirus

Lecturers, researchers and support staff with insecure contracts at three universities will lose their jobs

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/apr/02/hundreds-of-university-staff-made-redundant-due-to-coronavirus

The pandemic reveals the fragile nature of many academic and research staff's employment status. Don't see stories like about senate house staff though. 

 

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13 hours ago, debtlessmanc said:

Guilty, things is those of us who have been in the business for 30 odd years have been saying this to anyone who would listen for 20 odd years. But they don't listen, even my own kids would not listen they wanted the university experience and would pay or at least borrow for it. However, there is still the other side, my last few PhD/project students were from the physics school, really smart and really motivated and in the end they have got really well paid jobs (eg patent attorney or oil and gas). The problem is, as everyone keeps saying, The university system was designed for the top few % academically. That is where everyone seems to see themselves, jet setting executives, sceientists changing the world, most scientists that ever lived are alive today and most are pretty mediocre. Personally as a quite senior academic having to deal with up their **** "managers" who now will not trust someone like me to teach people in the approved way,  and impose stuff I know will not work,  I sometimes wish I had trained to be a plumber....

edit to add, the shits going to hit the fan wrt to overseas students next year, will be interesting to see where savings can happen. 

I almost didn't go to Uni but everyone told me that it was essential to have a decent job and persuaded me.

It was a waste of time but fortunately I went before fees.

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13 hours ago, Si1 said:

I wouldn't knock the value of knowledge for its own sake. 

 

I think that it is really a good thing for people who like being poor or have a trust fund - for everyone else not worth it.

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17 hours ago, interestrateripoff said:

Like reading a book???

Books....are great, with technology there is so much out there, so much availability to interact with others, learn from others......it is just as worthwhile, just as effective at a fraction of the cost of what university charge......summer camps to meet up with all those you know but never physically met? ;)

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8 hours ago, iamnumerate said:

I think that it is really a good thing for people who like being poor or have a trust fund - for everyone else not worth it.

Years back I was told that being middle class meant you had enough passive income and did not have to work. So middle the middle class studied what they were interested in and worked in careers they enjoyed. The money earned was not the driving factor. The middle class had a particular set of values that came from being independent. I get the feeling that, in thiose days, universities were full of people who did what they were interested in, rather than people looking to get a job.

As well as the middle class there were also particularly bright people got a grant to study. The grants at one time came from endowments. Only about ten percent of the population went to university.

The middle class has been replaced by a pack of money chasing hyenas. Universities are now full of average people who just want to get a job.

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10 hours ago, iamnumerate said:

I think that it is really a good thing for people who like being poor or have a trust fund - for everyone else not worth it.

I think the education market , in and out of universities, is adjusting now to this, hence this thread.

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17 hours ago, Confusion of VIs said:

It's taught in German but the notes can be provided in English. Her tutorials are held in English, as all the teaching staff are fluent English speakers (they have to be as higher degrees are already taught in English and there are plans for first degrees to be bilingual).

She had very basic GCSE grasp of German when she arrived then went on a 4 week intensive German course prior to the start of her course.  She is in the second year now and has pretty good German.     

 

I believe Swedish degrees have been available in English for some time, though they started charging small fees now. There is still nothing like the numbers of students though as the U.K. was receiving from the rest of the EU. It is a good question why the U.K. is so popular. 

Edited by debtlessmanc

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1 hour ago, debtlessmanc said:

I believe Swedish degrees have been available in English for some time, though they started charging small fees now. There is still nothing like the numbers of students though as the U.K. was receiving from the rest of the EU. It is a good question why the U.K. is so popular. 

I think the UK is popular because people think that they will learn better English than other countries where they are taught in English by non native English speakers.

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2 hours ago, Si1 said:

I think the education market , in and out of universities, is adjusting now to this, hence this thread.

I am not sure that it is, a lot of subjects still provide poor value for money.

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One major point now is the reliance of many universities on foreign students, particularly Chinese. I can't imagine they'll be clamouring to do their degrees here for a while now. Much safer to stay put!

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