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BlairLite Tory leader's latest U-turn

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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    well it's not that obvious when you're 17 or 18 and applying to go to university, particularly when a lecturer from a university comes into talk to you and tells you the complete opposite. until i spoke to my cousin i had no reason to disbelieve this person.
    I agree with you actually. The careers advice available for careers in media related stuff is crap. I don't know about anything else. Speaking to different people in the industry is essential really.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i was considering a career in journalism at one point, someone came into our school to talk to us from a new university and they were promoting their BA in Journalism or Media Studies or whatever, and were saying this qualification is essential if you want to work in the media, no newspaper or magazine will employ you without such a degree. Then i spoke to my cousin who was quite high up at The Times at that point, and she said the complete reverse is true - they only employ graudates with degrees in subjects like History, English, Politics, Philosophy, Sciences, but those who apply with degrees in Journalism or media don't even make it past the first stage. So it's deceptive to let people spend three years of their lives and a lot of money doing a degree that most people actually working in that industry think isn't worth the paper it's written on.

    Not necessarily so, a friend of mine graduated last year with a degree in Journalism and is now on a graduate scheme with one of the Nationals.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What does the academically challenging nature of a course have to do with it's use in the real world?

    Seems to me that the more academic the course, the more removed it is from reality and thus the more worthless it is.

    As the rationale for stealing from me to pay for it is it's usefulness to me in future, surely academic courses should be the first to the wall?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If Film Studies comprised of the same amount of work and had the same demands as an English lit degree it would be valid. However, it generally doesn’t so employers and others unsurprisingly are going to be more impressed by somebody with an English Lit degree than a Film Studies degree – that’s not snobbery.

    I can't answer for degrees but having taken Film Studies at A level standard I can tell you it was just as demanding as the History course. Believe me its a lot more complicated than you imagine and included elements of History, sociology, psychology etc. I have still have nightmares about deconstructing the Lacanic elements of 'The Krays' :eek:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Any chance that you'd respond to my actual points instead of making irrelevant remarks about being snobby or not having been to university? -

    Well your points have been a series of genralisations about academic worth and employability prospects backed up by no evidence so there isn't much to say really.

    Would you still do your degree if you had to pay the full cost? Would you personally be paying that full cost or would you receive assistance.......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I voted for David Davis precisely because he said he was against tuition fees and Cameron said he was for them.

    I do think we have too many people taking degrees and i count myself among them. Here I am almost four years since graduation doing an apprenticeship bacuase no graduate employer would take me on. If i had gone into an apprenticeship straight out of school I would be in full-time employmnent by now.

    Having said that, if I hadn't gone to Uni, I might not have joined the Conservative party...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    Well your points have been a series of genralisations about academic worth and employability prospects backed up by no evidence so there isn't much to say really.

    Oh right, so you don’t think that a history graduate has better careers prospects than a golf studies graduate? You don’t think a history degree is more academic than golf studies or film studies? To be honest I don’t care what you think you’re wrong and it doesn't affect me. I realise that as well as being interesting a history degree will give me better opportunities than a film & television studies degree which imo wouldn't be worth getting into debt for. But hey just my opinion, other people are free to do media studies or whatever.
    Toadborg wrote:
    Would you still do your degree if you had to pay the full cost? Would you personally be paying that full cost or would you receive assistance.......

    I would still do the degree and I would personally be paying that full cost - not that I have that amount of money needed but I'd be paying back the loans myself.

    Although if you look at the top US universities you’ll see that very few students actually pay for the full cost of their university education.

    For instance the top US universities offer ‘needs-blind’ admission and your financial circumstances are not considered in your application. If you are accepted the university considers your financial circumstances and depending on how much savings you have and your parent’s annual income they calculate how much you would contribute per year – and the rest is covered in financial aid by the university that you do not need to pay back. Most US universities with this system apply it to US citizens only – although Harvard, Princeton, Yale and a few others offer it to anybody whether they’re a US citizen or not. Put it this way – wherever you’re from if you’re accepted to Princeton money is not a problem at all. There’s no reason the American system couldn’t work in Britain, indeed if Oxford goes private sometime as some people think it will it could happen here. (And the US system is better - the likes of Harvard and Yale already have better facilities than Oxbridge, can provide better and more generous financial help to anyone who is accepted and the taxpayer is not funding it).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes and do you know why the US universities are able to provide that degree of financial assistance?

    It is because they have a culture of very large (by our standards) Alumni donations that nowhere else can match. Without that UK universities would not be able to offer much in the way of assitance making the average UK degree more expensive than even the US, good idea....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    Yes and do you know why the US universities are able to provide that degree of financial assistance?

    It is because they have a culture of very large (by our standards) Alumni donations that nowhere else can match. Without that UK universities would not be able to offer much in the way of assitance making the average UK degree more expensive than even the US, good idea....

    Yes, there is a culture of alumni giving bigger donations in America although there’s no reason why that couldn’t happen more here. In some British universities alumni already make large contributions. What you’ve failed to notice is that the American universities that benefit from big alumni donations are entirely independent of the government – they’re basically non-profit charities. Who in Britain is going to make large contributions to something while it's nationalised and subject to government interference?

    Anyway alumni aren’t the only source of funding. Corporate funding/sponsorship/partnership with business provide financial assistance in US universities and some unis here.

    Either way unless we want our universities to decline it’s inevitable that we’ll move towards the American system. It'll just take one of the top unis here to go private and others will follow.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Very few people care how good our universities are compared to American universities so I don't think any such thing is inevitable at all.

    A mixture of fees and govt assistance is certainly the best policy. The only question is of getting the mix right.........
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    Very few people care how good our universities are compared to American universities so I don't think any such thing is inevitable at all.

    While the average man on the street might not care; plenty of people in the government, people involved in scientific research, in business, etc – lots of people in influential positions do care. Seeing as some people within Oxford have already talked about going independent if one university did take the plunge and it was successful others would follow suit. Anyway it seems this is where we disagree, I don't think British universities should fall behind the Ivy League and feel the only way to prevent that happening is by adopting a system similar to theirs. I don't see another way. It's either halt further funding and let unis fall behind, increase taxes or move towards the US system. The first would be very bad for Britain and the second would be very unpopular and economically unhealthy. Or there's the mixture you advocate that we've got but unis will eventually get fed up if they can't charge more than £3000/year.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wonder if you'd be this picky if your £10 a week (or whatever you get) is taken away from you?

    That wouldn't bother me, because anyway I don't really use that money unless I really need to. (which isn't that often)
    Seriously, what course do you do where you have to spend that sort of money to do?

    None really, but I tend to print alot of stuff out which I have to pay for. Also, many of the subject teachers don't supply paper/writing books so I have to buy them myself. Also if for any reason at all I need extra Law books I have to pay for them myself.
    Because when I was in college, not too long ago, other than a couple of text books (which were available 2nd hand), a few disks and stationary, there wasn't much to buy.

    True, depending on what subjects you do. We're given text books (mainly second hand) but are expected to supply everything else.
    Even yourself, if your doing four or five full A-Levels, you have more work to do than the average student.

    I do three A Levels, however, there's still alot of work to do.
    handed out to everyone.

    Not everyone gets it though - I know loads of people who don't get it and moan because I get it...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh right, so you don’t think that a history graduate has better careers prospects than a golf studies graduate? You don’t think a history degree is more academic than golf studies or film studies? To be honest I don’t care what you think you’re wrong and it doesn't affect me. I realise that as well as being interesting a history degree will give me better opportunities than a film & television studies degree which imo wouldn't be worth getting into debt for. But hey just my opinion, other people are free to do media studies or whatever.

    No a history degree is not more academic than a film degree. And you haven't produced a shred of evidence to prove otherwise. I wouldn't know about Golf Studies because I haven't seen a breakdown of the course and it's content, something which obviously hasn't stopped you condemning the course a "not academic."

    I love this bit:
    To be honest I don’t care what you think you’re wrong and it doesn't affect me.
    Nice debating skills there. You learn that on one of the academic courses you've done in the past?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,1685034,00.html

    Oh look, no. of graduate jobs and quantity of graduate salaries on the rise............
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, great reasoning skills there Toad....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/news/story/0,9830,1685034,00.html

    Oh look, no. of graduate jobs and quantity of graduate salaries on the rise............
    and this from YOUR link ...

    Some 260,000 students are set to leave university in the summer, chasing fewer than 90,000 graduate-level vacancies.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yep but that is not the same as saying that the people that don't get 'graduate level jobs' (whatever that means) will not find their skills from university useful.....

    'Graduate-level' is quite an arbitary definition, it relates to the very top jobs, starting salries of 20k+ etc
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    the very top jobs, starting salries of 20k+ etc
    four hundred quid a week starting sal considered tops!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    Yep but that is not the same as saying that the people that don't get 'graduate level jobs' (whatever that means) will not find their skills from university useful.....

    Yes although that article cites the army as being one of the biggest graduate employers. I’m guessing the most popular job in the army for graduates is officer? Since you can become an officer with A-levels as far as I’m aware whether you join with a degree or A-level you’ll have to do the same army training and get the same position. Given that the army’s always recruiting it’s not surprising that they’re targeting graduates – but given that they target school-leavers for those same positions it’s not exactly a graduate job is it? (Although army officers pay/benefits is as good, if not better than typical graduate jobs I think).

    The thing is, I don’t think anything other than the headline of that article really supports any of your claims. And given the severe competition highlighted by the article and employers typical perceptions towards non-traditional degrees I know I wouldn’t spend three years and thousands of pounds getting such a degree.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What exactly do you know about employers perceptions to non-traditional degrees?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    What exactly do you know about employers perceptions to non-traditional degrees?

    Well, my friend’s mother works in HR for a London investment bank and said they wouldn’t usually consider on their graduate scheme someone with a degree in something non-traditional and they have so many applicants they don’t have to. I think they take on so many Economics graduates and the rest have done just degrees in traditional academic subjects. I'd guess that's not unusual. I know where my parents work the graduate scheme is again very competitive so companies can be picky.

    You might disagree with it but there's a perception among a lot of people (um generally it would seem most people who didn't do one) that non-traditional degrees are not as academically demanding as traditional ones. And unsurprisingly that's going to be reflected in employers attitudes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I disagree, the reason the bank takes on mainly economics graduates seems glaringly obvious doesn't it?

    You still haven't defined what you mean by 'academically-demanding' if you mean do you have to work ard then I know plenty of people who have done 'non-traditional degrees' and they all had to work hard as best I know.

    You are making generalisations that you simply can't support......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    the reason 'graduate jobs' exist to a large extent apart from in law, medicine etc is because you have to pump out report after report, which is effectively the same as in a degree whereas a school leaver doesn't necesserily get that level of practice
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    Well I disagree, the reason the bank takes on mainly economics graduates seems glaringly obvious doesn't it?

    You still haven't defined what you mean by 'academically-demanding' if you mean do you have to work ard then I know plenty of people who have done 'non-traditional degrees' and they all had to work hard as best I know.

    You are making generalisations that you simply can't support......

    All of my claims are supported by many top graduate employers - in that non-traditional degrees are not as highly regarded as traditional degrees. I don't have the time or energy to but if we did a little experiment and sent off two graduate job applications to lots of different companies - one with say a History degree from Durham and the other a Film Studies degree from Manchester Metropolitan do you think they'd get the same number of interview offers? If you do you’re even more naïve than I thought.

    I’m not trying to insult you if you’re doing a degree in Golf Studies or something and good luck to you but I think you're in denial or something if you can't see that graduates in traditional subjects have better chances than graduates in non-traditional subjects.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am doing a PhD in Economics as it happens.

    What about if the film studies graduate got a first and the history graduate had a third? What about applications to employers in the film business, is the history graduate more likely to get that job?

    And if I am a golf course manager am I more likely to employ a history graduate or a graduate with a golf management degree, all other things equal?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I resent the idea that the only degree worth having is a so-called "academic"/traditional one, sounds like a step back towards the days when the only degrees worth something were those from Oxbridge and that ilk.

    Of course there are pointless degrees that are a drain on people's pockets (is there any need to be educated to degree-level in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?) but just because someone doesn't do a traditional degree doesn't mean their time at University was worthless and they'll be unemployable. A lot of people wouldn't want to work for these "top graduate employers" of which you speak, Disillusioned.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Toadborg wrote:
    I am doing a PhD in Economics as it happens.

    What about if the film studies graduate got a first and the history graduate had a third? What about applications to employers in the film business, is the history graduate more likely to get that job?

    And if I am a golf course manager am I more likely to employ a history graduate or a graduate with a golf management degree, all other things equal?

    Okay for argument’s sake there’s the history graduate and the film studies graduate and they both have a 2.1.

    Applications sent to a range of employers for their standard graduate scheme uh say: the Civil Service, Foreign Office, Goldman Sachs, Proctor & Gamble, British American Tobacco, etc.

    See what happens, I’d bet money the history graduate gets more interview offers.

    Whether a traditional degree is better or not isn't really the issue (although I do happen to think it is) - the point I'm trying to make is that you get better job prospects with a traditional degree. And for me - that's the point of going to uni as well as to study something I enjoy. For me I don't see the point in getting into loads of debt if it's not going to give me a better chance of getting a good job.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So you concede that such degrees would be helpful in the areas that these people have been studying because that is the point isn't it.

    People do a film studies degree not only because they will enjoy the degree but presumably because they want to work in that industry. If a film student and a history student applied for a job in the production sector of the film industry the film student would be more liekly to get it wouldn't they?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Okay for argument’s sake there’s the history graduate and the film studies graduate and they both have a 2.1.

    Applications sent to a range of employers for their standard graduate scheme uh say: the Civil Service, Foreign Office, Goldman Sachs, Proctor & Gamble, British American Tobacco, etc.

    See what happens, I’d bet money the history graduate gets more interview offers.

    Whether a traditional degree is better or not isn't really the issue (although I do happen to think it is) - the point I'm trying to make is that you get better job prospects with a traditional degree. And for me - that's the point of going to uni as well as to study something I enjoy. For me I don't see the point in getting into loads of debt if it's not going to give me a better chance of getting a good job.

    Maybe add to that list the BBC, BskyB, ITV, The Guardian and we'll see. Why would a film studies graduate go for a job at any of those places?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote:
    I resent the idea that the only degree worth having is a so-called "academic"/traditional one, sounds like a step back towards the days when the only degrees worth something were those from Oxbridge and that ilk.

    Of course there are pointless degrees that are a drain on people's pockets (is there any need to be educated to degree-level in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"?) but just because someone doesn't do a traditional degree doesn't mean their time at University was worthless and they'll be unemployable. A lot of people wouldn't want to work for these "top graduate employers" of which you speak, Disillusioned.

    You wouldn't be suggesting that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is any less a valid subject to study than any other at would you? :)
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