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Do you agree with the system in the UK

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. There should be an incentive but not funding

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. There should be a subsidised system such as in the UK

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. I prefer my own system: post and explain what it is

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Only those who can afford it should be able to go.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. As above but with lots of scholarships

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Don't know/care/other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Apr 16, 2008 #1
    In the UK there is a drive to get as many people into University as humanly possible. But is this necessarily a good thing? Another thread made me think if making it to easy to get a loan or a free ride or whatever, might actually be detrimental to the process. Do you think it's better than the alternative.

    I'm genuinely interested. :smile:

    Is socialism evil? :wink: j/k
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2008 #2

    wolram

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    I voted yes (as long as one served at least 5 years in the UK after qualifying).
     
  4. Apr 16, 2008 #3
    I think that socialism and science are mutually exclusive. Certainly not to say that scientists can't be socialist. I know several eminent scientists who forget that they are socialist when they are busy with science, questioning, doubting, rechecking, not avoiding conflict. But I also think that there may be some that don't, going for the consensus opinion, supporting and seeking support, withholding doubt, avoiding conflict, because that's all social. (Somebody called it 'mutual admiration')

    So a University system should be as capitalists as possible, but in this case the capital being brains, ambition and attitude. For those who deserve it, there should not be any financial barrier.
     
  5. Apr 16, 2008 #4
    That's a good point I'd say more likely as long as you have been a UK citizen for at least 5 years and as long as you stay for at least 5 years after the degree. Foreign students obviously should pay their own way, I wouldn't expect to go to the US and get a free ride that would be absurd. :smile:

    And I agree André but where do you draw the line?
     
  6. Apr 16, 2008 #5

    Moonbear

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    I'm not in the UK, but voted in the poll anyway (wasn't sure if you were aiming it toward folks from the UK). I think it should be easy in terms of finance, so answered "yes," but that doesn't mean anyone and everyone should attend, just that those who qualify shouldn't have to give up on that ambition because they can't afford it.
     
  7. Apr 16, 2008 #6

    cristo

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    There are many, many ways the UK system could be improved. Here's what I'd do and, yes, it is controversial.

    As you say, the current government want to push as many people into universities as possible, but it doesn't seem important to them what the student is actually studying in university. Well, I'd make it more encouraging for students to enter university to study "real" subjects as opposed to subjects that have just been invented in the past ten years or so. I'd subsidise the red-brick and other top universities massively, and give the polytechnics and other "new" universities less funding. In return, the price of attending the higher universities would decrease, and the prices for attending the newer universities would increase, so it would be a lot more expensive to study David Beckham studies at Mickey Mouse University than it would be to study Physics at Cambridge. Once this structure was in place, I would then use means testing to decide the fees that individuals would have to pay. There would also be money given to universities to enable the brightest students' fees to be entirely waived (and I'd probably borrow Cyrus' idea and put a proviso of the student keeping up some certain good grade). I would also use some other test (yet to be invented) to judge who the brightest students were, and not simply base this on A levels (which really aren't good enough at picking out the elite).

    Anyway, that's just a pipedream since the system probably wouldn't work when it came to be implemented.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  8. Apr 16, 2008 #7
    Thanks Cristo it was actually your point that got me thinking...

    Actually it sounds a lot like it was before labour changed it apart from the higher and lower subsidisation University idea which sounds quite promising. See the Conservatives aren't that bad after all. :smile:

    There's a lot of flak levelled at Oxbridge atm, undeservedly IMO, they take the best students, and the best students happen to more often come from private education as a per capita representation.

    Mind you I'm sandwiched between the two on the political scale so I see merits in both parties.

    I'm not entirely sure about Cryus's idea, but I suppose with the other implementations it could work.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  9. Apr 16, 2008 #8

    arildno

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    The problem with the socialist/social-democratic "all-inclusiveness" as we see it here in Norway is that "all-inclusiveness" is taken way too far, impinging on quality.
    Scientific quality after all, is NOT something that can be legislated for, to the chagrin of, and hence wilful ignorance in, socialists.

    For example, IF we are to make universities easy to get into in terms of finance, then the proper way would be to set stricter quality standards upon the students than we would in a finance-intensive system.

    But this is not at all how it is done in Norway:
    Here, pedagogues and politicians scream that professors and university people are "abstruse" and "elitist", and that they should offer educational programs more adapted to the students' level. I.e, a demand for dumbing down education into some sort of chatty nonsense.

    This policy has already been implemented over the last 20 years in Norwegian schools (resulting in abysmal scores for Norwegian pupils on tests like PISA and TIMSS), and our universities are now in their death-throes, overflowed by diffident, uninterested, loafing students dragging the quality down on all levels and courses.
     
  10. Apr 16, 2008 #9
    Yeah same is happening in the US and UK, apparently you can measure success or education based on results? No child left behind and continued testing. Continued testing from 5 to 16 to prove that your policies are working in the UK. At the end of the day teachers have enough to do just teaching without having to make sure their children can jump through hoops to get extra funding an so on (and some teachers teach kids how to pass exams, which is appalling to be frank) they tried the same approach in the health service. Sometimes you can't measure what works and what doesn't on either a money or performance basis. It's about time our government learned that the people on the ground floor may need funding, but what they don't need to be told is how to do their jobs, by people who don't do their jobs. The government is there to guide not to measure; listen to the people on the ground.

    At the moment the UK has the worst pre college education outside of the Eastern Bloc, the US by all appreciable measures is slightly worse. It may be made up by a superb University system, but the Universities shouldn't have to pick up the slack because of policies that simply aren't realistic.

    And of course Universities are being put under the same weights and measures systems to some extent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2008
  11. Apr 16, 2008 #10

    f95toli

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    Is there a choice?
    Remember that the time you need to spend in school in order to get a "normal" job has increased from something like 6 to 12 years in only a few decades. Nowadays EVERYONE is expected to learn e.g. math, a couple of languages (well, not here in the UK) etc. I.e. what is considered an "ordinary" education now would have been reserved for an upper class elite 100 years ago.
    My point is that only an "intellectual elite" used to go to university but nowadays it is very difficult to get a good, well-paid job without an university education; and even if you do you are still competing with plenty of other well-educated people when trying to find a good job.
    The world is becoming more an more competitive and since we can no longer compete in labour intensitive sectors (those industries have either closed or moved to asia) only highly skilled work remains(+the service sector, but that can never drive the economy).
    Right now kids born in the west have an advantage when it comes to education since few people have the opportunity to get a higher education in developing countries; but considering how quickly the quality of mainstream education is going up in China and India this is only temporary.

    I wonder what will happen next. Perhaps the equivalent of a PhD will be the norm in just a few decades.
     
  12. Apr 16, 2008 #11

    JasonRox

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    I don't think it's as cut and dry as: if you qualify, you should be allowed to attend.

    Life isn't fair and never will be. I think it should be reasonable in terms of finance. I don't think anyone who qualifies should attend. That's absurd and not good for the economy. For example, instead of working better jobs or better paying jobs or working period, I stay at home and pick my nose but I still qualify to go to post-secondary school because I've been a citizen all my life and I do well in school. Seriously, not really a candidate for higher education.
     
  13. Apr 17, 2008 #12
    Reminds me of that Futurama episode where a 20th century degree is equal to pre high school education, and high school education equal to kindegarten. :smile:

    Too be honest to get an average job you need nothing whatsoever except reading, writing and arithmetic from school. Unless your average job is rocket scientist or neurosurgeon. :wink::smile: That's all my brother had and he runs his own business.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
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