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I don't think it is fair for students to pay for their higher education, although US students do it. That said the US graduates can really come into their own once they get in work, as wages are higher there and housing - for example - is lower, so paying back is easy.

I was lucky enough to have my fees paid as well as receiving a grant, and agree that it would discourage me if I had to pay for both.

University education is overrated for what you get out of it, IMO. Only certain types of graduate benefit whilst others end up going into other areas, or doing jobs that did not need graduate status. Like one lad I knew who was a Mech.Eng. graduate. Tried for 18 months to get a job then went into accountancy and never looked back.

I think that this country is short of two things: tradesmen and science graduates. We need apprenticeships for one and good teaching/encouragement for the other. So many students are afraid of science and maths. I found many girls were convinced that they were no good at maths. and stats. It seems to be something that is instilled at quite an early age.

But why would you become a tradesman, engineer or a scientist? They require several years of intense training, you are constantly evaluated against a clear metric so no talking your way out of bad performance, require constant update of skills and training throughout the career, pay is low on top of the lost wages during training, society does not value you and allows 'photocopy engineer' to be placed on the same rung, and foreign labour can be brought in at lower wages willing to work in worse conditions.

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Guest AuntJess

But why would you become a tradesman, engineer or a scientist? They require several years of intense training, you are constantly evaluated against a clear metric so no talking your way out of bad performance, require constant update of skills and training throughout the career, pay is low on top of the lost wages during training, society does not value you and allows 'photocopy engineer' to be placed on the same rung, and foreign labour can be brought in at lower wages willing to work in worse conditions.

I accept that intensive training is needed, but I really think young folk need to grasp the nettle with this one. In my experience Brits. are going to lose out if they don't do just that. In my experience, Asian and Chinese students plump for scientific careers a lot of the time - figures, cosines and tangents etc. don't worry them. I think fear of science is "the English disease" and we need to overcome that early on, especially with girls. One of my female colleagues was a 1st class hons graduate in Mech .Eng. - the only girl in the class too!!...and an Iraqi girl I went to Uni. with became an engineer. I think we don't seize our opportunities in this country, and yet our history has many science discoveries and inventors.The schools and colleges need a wake up call.

As to apprenticeships, all the tradesmen and artisans I know, can buy and sell me, despite my HE education. There is an old saying "If I am so smart, why ain't I rich?" My uncle was a builder and he earned more than all his brothers and sisters, about twice as much!!

I don't know what to say about foreign labour brought in: Which came first? the deficit in tradesmen or the influx of foreign workers?

I personally think Blair brought in loadsa people from Europe and elsewhere to fulfil his own agenda, but that is another thread.

Edited by AuntJess

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I accept that intensive training is needed, but I really think young folk need to grasp the nettle with this one. In my experience Brits. are going to lose out if they don't do just that. In my experience, Asian and Chinese students plump for scientific careers a lot of the time - figures, cosines and tangents etc. don't worry them. I think fear of science is "the English disease" and we need to overcome that early on, especially with girls. One of my female colleagues was a 1st class hons graduate in Mech .Eng. - the only girl in the class too!!...and an Iraqi girl I went to Uni. with became an engineer. I think we don't seize our opportunities in this country, and yet our history has many science discoveries and inventors.The schools and colleges need a wake up call.

As to apprenticeships, all the tradesmen and artisans I know, can buy and sell me, despite my HE education. There is an old saying "If I am so smart, why ain't I rich?" My uncle was a builder and he earned more than all his brothers and sisters, about twice as much!!

I don't know what to say about foreign labour brought in: Which came first? the deficit in tradesmen or the influx of foreign workers?

I personally think Blair brought in loadsa people from Europe and elsewhere to fulfil his own agenda, but that is another thread.

I don't think it's even the training, the maths etc that's the problem - it's that a) wages are poor compared to what else a person of that intelligence could be doing (finance etc) and B) society places no value on what you do - a Real Estate agent gets more respect!

Kids aren't dumb, they move to the cool professions and those that pay well very, very quickly. You can't tell them to do it 'because it's the right thing', you have to make it worth doing.

It's easier to get the Chinese and Indians to send their smart kids into science and engineering because compared to the regular standard of living the pay is very good (and opportunities exist abroad), and their cultures respect and promote these professions.

I earn a good salary as an engineer, and usually enjoy my job, but I'd make a hell of a lot more were I to have gone into finance. Now money isn't the be all and end all of a career, but that's easy to say when you have some!

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I don't think it's even the training, the maths etc that's the problem - it's that a) wages are poor compared to what else a person of that intelligence could be doing (finance etc) and B) society places no value on what you do - a Real Estate agent gets more respect!

Kids aren't dumb, they move to the cool professions and those that pay well very, very quickly. You can't tell them to do it 'because it's the right thing', you have to make it worth doing.

It's easier to get the Chinese and Indians to send their smart kids into science and engineering because compared to the regular standard of living the pay is very good (and opportunities exist abroad), and their cultures respect and promote these professions.

I earn a good salary as an engineer, and usually enjoy my job, but I'd make a hell of a lot more were I to have gone into finance. Now money isn't the be all and end all of a career, but that's easy to say when you have some!

Well I agree with you on the pay for engineers - unless one has a Phd. - and even then it can be mingy.My husband was a science lecturer and he never made a packet either. I was really thinking of the science pursuits as in : dentistry; medicine; optometry; vetinary surgery; computer engineer etc.

Well the lad I mentioned earlier found out that accountancy was a better deal than Mech.Eng.. It IS maddening that business fares better than science careers.

There is getting to be a problem with kids doing "Media Studies" or "Drama" in that we get a glut, many imagining they will end up working on TV, in front of or behind the cameras and it just ain't going to happen for most of them. Broadcasting is notoriously clannish.

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My husband got pushed down the science route because he wanted to be a GP but once he realised his grades weren't up to it he really wishes he;d cut his losses and taken a business degree instead, he's done Ok but he could have done a lot better.

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Well I agree with you on the pay for engineers - unless one has a Phd. - and even then it can be mingy.My husband was a science lecturer and he never made a packet either. I was really thinking of the science pursuits as in : dentistry; medicine; optometry; vetinary surgery; computer engineer etc.

Well the lad I mentioned earlier found out that accountancy was a better deal than Mech.Eng.. It IS maddening that business fares better than science careers.

There is getting to be a problem with kids doing "Media Studies" or "Drama" in that we get a glut, many imagining they will end up working on TV, in front of or behind the cameras and it just ain't going to happen for most of them. Broadcasting is notoriously clannish.

A PhD is not necessarily a benefit if there isn't a strong demand, or an intense desire on the part of the person to work in that field. To really get on in academia or research, a PhD is pretty much a necessity - grants are harder to come by and promotions harder to get without one. And seriously, you can't do your own research without one. Otherwise, remember it's 3 to 5 years of research getting paid very little when you could be working and getting promoted, and some employers may think you're overqualified or just using them as a filler until an academic/research post comes up.

It's always been the case that the 'high IQ' types get paid less - plot av. wage vs IQ for a large enough group of people then it rises with IQ until you hit 140 or so, then drops. that 140 is usually high end lawyers/business types etc. You can, in fact, be too smart for your own good. It's just been particularly exagerated recently, and particularly so in the UK.

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  • 315 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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