Is Higher Education promoted too much ?

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Is Higher Education promoted too much ?

Reading Corris's thread http://www.mychild.co.uk/forum/ambition-vs-happiness-5496 got me thinking = we have had 3 go through High School now, one went to sixth form college and tried uni, two went to college. ED is due to finish this time she has hated this year, ES did 3 years, worked and is back again and talking Uni in a couple of years.

I've noticed over the years that the way they present university entrance has changed and personally I dont' th ink it's a good thing. When I was at school you had to work hard and gain good grades to get into uni but also have a wish to go and desire to continue learning (all makes sense) but you were given other options too.

I've noticed over the last few years that they are pushing this to ALL kids now = and making it sound like the other choices are second best - but their not, even kids that are clever enough to GO to uni might not acutally be best placed there.

I took ED to the local High School's sixth form open night before she started college, not one word was said about any of the alternatives and knowing she didn't want uni it put her right off. According to one of the teachers there it's bums on seats mentatliy and even if some of those kids drop out the school can still say they went.

what happened to valuing hands on jobs, we still need manual workers, plumbers and joiners etc.

Didnt want to take over Corris's thread so thought I'd start a new one - do you think or have you experience of uni being pushed at kids too much or do you think the balance is right ?

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Daedalus
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I don't know the stats for sure, but I think it's along the lines of 20 years ago (when I went to Poly) only about 15% of school leavers went to HE. Now the Government want 50%. I think, going back further it was a smaller percentage.

So, yes, when my father went to University it meant something. Any degree meant he was in the top 5% or so of the population (education wise).

But now it doesn't.

The real trouble is the message coming across is that any degre from anywhere is fine. Now while this may have been the case 40 years ago, I don't think it is now. Do you really think a degree in Leisure management from the University of Plymouth is of equal worth to a degree in Mathematics from Cambridge University?

pollylolly

I dont' no and I'm not prepared for MD to do Drama at college as it will lead to nothing for her which is another thread altogeather but I fully agree with what your saying.

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See I would let her do Drama if she was talented in that direction- I did Art and why not? Not everyone excels at purely academic subjects, even if they do they should still be able to choose and drama (theatre, TV, whatever) is just as much a part of our culture as mathematics.

Drama can lead to many possibilities, not just in performing but writing, education (groups coming into chools make a packet!) all sorts.

If a person is talented in Drama, then I think they should follow that. Why are the arts considered inferior? I had a friend who went to Cambridge to study Medicine. She was also an accomplished musician, and actually would have done Music if her parents had not been so set on her going to medical school. (Traditional Indian family) Personally I consider it a shame- I'm sure she made a good doctor but she would have made a spectacular musician.

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Daedy, it depends on what you want to do. On a purely academic level, then no, of course not. But if you work in leisure management then degree in something relevent would be more useful.

pollylolly

She's not though she thinks it's an easy option and it's not. She hasnt' buckled down to that more than any other subject and if she wants to follow that up there are groups avaialble and she's been offered and not interested. So I'm afraid that's a no go from here.

Dont' know what she'll do tbh -= but what ever it is Drama is't going to be it, ES did Performing Arts for him it was to build his confidence repair the damage school did he was lucky and the group he was put in were fabulous and he still keeps in touch with a few and one is his best mate, out of them all none are working in any area related to Drama or performning Arts, even the one who was a whizz with lighting and sound could not get a course related job and he's servicing slot machines - which pays mega bucks but not what he wanted.

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That, Beth, is why I'm a big believer in a year out after A-levels.

If you take a year out and decide that Leisure management is for you, then a degree will have some merit. But, just doing it for the sake of a degree, and then expecting to be equally compared for (for example) an office job with someone with a mathematics degree is, imo, wrong. Of course, other employers with have other preferences, but I think my view is fairly mainstream.

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Polly, one could argue that the majority- the vast majority- of students who read, for example, History are not out there doing History related jobs.

As for DC, if she isn't talented in that area then fair enough.

pollylolly

Beth if I thought that either of those would help her find work it would be supported - I think it was called a bird course in Sister Act and tbh that is what she thinks it will be and tbh it won't I know ES worked dam hard when he did it. I know it's hard but to be honest it's a shame there aren't apprenticeships etc like there used to be.

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I think, Beth, that will depend on where you draw the line for counting the data.

When I started work, nearly 20 years ago, my first boss had a degree in history and was doing nothing related to history, and he said he felt he was one of the last to 'get away with it'. That is, when he was applying for jobs, having a degree meant the you were reasonably intelligent and could discipline yourself to work for three years overcoming various problems which arose. But that is not now the case. Most jobs don't just say 'with a degree', but ask for a 'relevant degree'.

Another option though, is to do a degree in anything, then a Masters in what you want to work in.

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I'm generally with Daedy on this one, with a similar age perspective. When I did a degree, the fact that you had studied for three years meant something and many employers would accept a degree on face value, though university degrees had a higher level of acceptance than Poly degrees.

I do feel that when all the Polys became Universities, and half of the colleges as well, then degrees generaly got devalued. I'm out of touch with the current situation, not having even changed jobs for quite some time, but an aim of 50% in University strikes me as ridiculous, as there are not suitable degree-level jos for so many people, making it harder forthe good candidates to find work.

I would cetainly support more emphasis on vocational training and decent apprenticeships - if we supported our manual workers more, then maybe we wouldn't be importing polish plumbers!

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