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    • MSE William
    • By MSE William 31st Aug 17, 6:19 PM
    • 65Posts
    • 38Thanks
    MSE William
    Is post-school education good value for money?
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 17, 6:19 PM
    Is post-school education good value for money? 31st Aug 17 at 6:19 PM
    The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is investigating the funding of post-school education, which includes universities, further education colleges and apprenticeships.

    They really want to hear what you think about the current system, and how it could be improved.

    1. Did your post-school education give you the skills you need?
    2. Do you think it was good value for money?
    3. What changes would improve the current system?

    Please tell us your thoughts below and we!!!8217;ll send them on to the Committee.

    *****UPDATE: Chance to meet the Committee and tell them your views in person*****

    Thanks so much for the comments you've posted already. The Committee is still reading them, as it starts to hold meetings on this topic, including a meeting with Martin Lewis on Tuesday 17 October.

    In addition to your comments here, the Committee has asked us to post this message on its behalf:

    You!!!8217;re invited: The funding of higher education

    Come to our event about the funding of higher education and help inform the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee inquiry into the economics of higher, further and technical education.

    The big issue

    !!!8220;The cost of going to university is increasing, but many graduates do not end up in jobs requiring a degree and will not be able to pay back their loans. This year the total amount of student loans outstanding was £89 billion. This is projected to increase to £500 billion in the mid-2030s and £1 trillion in the late 2040s.!!!8221; Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, Chairman of the committee

    At the event we will be asking you about:

    !!!8226; Your experience and view of tuitions fees
    !!!8226; If higher education provides value for money
    !!!8226; If higher education prepares you for employment

    How can you help?

    Are you an undergraduate student with experiences and views on tuition fees? If so, come to our event and help shape the inquiry.

    Participants will:

    !!!8226; Get a tour of Parliament
    !!!8226; Meet members of the committee to discuss student loans, the way university courses work, and employment for graduates
    !!!8226; Get the chance to speak to staff about careers in Parliament.

    When and where?

    Date: Tuesday 21 November
    Time: 3-6pm
    Venue: Westminster, London

    The event is free to attend, but we want to ensure a diverse range of experiences and views are represented.

    To register your interest in attending please complete our survey and we will let you know if you have been selected to attend by the end of October.

    Please complete this survey by midnight on Tuesday 24 October 2017.

    If you know anyone else who would be interested, please pass on this information.

    You may claim back the cost of your travel expenses. We!!!8217;ll give you more information when we confirm your place.
    Last edited by MSE William; 11-10-2017 at 12:14 PM.

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Page 1
    • avogadro
    • By avogadro 31st Aug 17, 7:01 PM
    • 4,035 Posts
    • 7,278 Thanks
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 17, 7:01 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Aug 17, 7:01 PM
    I would like to see day-release courses, where students spend 4 days out of 5 studying and 1 day in the workplace. One thing I was lacking when I left university was relevant work experience.
    • Wizard of Id
    • By Wizard of Id 31st Aug 17, 8:56 PM
    • 4,189 Posts
    • 15,268 Thanks
    Wizard of Id
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 17, 8:56 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Aug 17, 8:56 PM
    I did 1 day a week at college during my apprenticeship and I don't recall learning anything there that I had not already learned during my workplace training.
    For me it was a complete waste of time and only good for those that wanted the certificate to help them move away from the actual job we were training for and into management, something that I had no desire to do.
    Every man is innocent until proven broke.
    Cryin won't help you, prayin won't do you no good.

    Keep Moving in 2018 Challenge - Target 3333 miles
    This week - 75.3
    Total so far - 2160.3
    • ruperts
    • By ruperts 31st Aug 17, 10:29 PM
    • 717 Posts
    • 1,179 Thanks
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 17, 10:29 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Aug 17, 10:29 PM
    I did a part time vocational degree so my answers are based on that.

    1. In short, no. I couldn't have left the course and gone straight into my job and been ok without significant further on the job training, but to be fair I doubt it's ever the case in any profession that a fresh graduate is immediately capable of doing the whole job. Some of the things I learned on the course remain useful as background knowledge to my profession. Some of what I learned was irrelevant. A lot of it was out of date, in some cases by many years. Most of the skills required to do the job have been learned on the job.

    2. Yes in the sense that employers require you to have the degree, so without it you don't have a job. But in terms of educational experience, I think spending a few hundred pounds on good, up to date books and reading them at home would have delivered just as much, if not more relevant learning.

    3. Vocational courses don't need to be full length traditional taught degrees in my opinion. I think the government could help by making online courses more credible in the eyes of employers. An online course could be done at the student's own pace (which for anyone motivated would be a lot faster than a normal three year degree, it took me five years to complete my part time degree but half of that was waiting for the academic staff to come back from their holidays... sorry, I mean to finish their research. Going at my own pace, I could have got through the entire course content while continuing to work full time in 18 months, no problem. If I wasn't working and so could study full time I reckon I could have got myself to 2:1 standard in six months at a push, and easily within a year. Ultimately all the degree does is prove you're capable of a certain standard of work - it shouldn't need to take a minimum of three years to achieve this), it would be cheaper to run since there would be no bricks and mortar and fewer staff to fund, the content could be more responsive to industry, and by being quicker and cheaper it would be more appealing to older people looking to upskill or retrain themselves around existing commitments.
    Last edited by ruperts; 31-08-2017 at 10:43 PM.
    • Im just careful
    • By Im just careful 6th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
    • 917 Posts
    • 343 Thanks
    Im just careful
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
    The current arrangements cheat everyone
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:21 AM
    While some modest and likely to be repaid tuition fees for degree education can be justified (of the order of £3k a year) the current system, which will give most current students a "graduate tax" for 25 years and still not be repaid fails the student (reducing incomes during the 20s and 40s when they will need to pay for accommodation and probably supporting a family), the tax payer (as these unpaid tuition fees plus finance costs will end up being paid by the tax payer) and society generally by not focusing degree education where it has value (essentially where that knowledge base in the population adds value).

    Furthermore, extending this regime to the health care sector (where unless the present government get's it's way it is essentially a single employer industry) is a way of "off balance sheeting" training costs and depressing medical staff wages.

    Personally I think the whole arrangement is evil.

    I accept education needs paying for, I'm well paid as a result of an engineering degree I took in the early 1980s. Tax me more rather than burdening my son.
    • akf1006
    • By akf1006 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 1,249 Thanks
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    I think the enrolment for apprenticeships should be looked into. My son applied for numerous apprenticeships, took around 40 mins completing application forms for which he was down selected for psychometric tests. He achieved a high enough score for each of these to progress to the next stage, which was usually the interview stage, but each time received a letter stating they had down selected people and he basically wasn't getting an interview.

    The more this goes on, the confidence drains and he was thinking, I've passed everything possible yet got nowhere so what do I need to do. I realise it's hard and there are lots of applicants, but after passing everything there should be some progression or they should be sorted before being informed they have achieve high enough test scores to progress. This must dent a lot of kids confidence, especially at a time when they are studying their GCSEs
    • MaisieMouSE
    • By MaisieMouSE 6th Sep 17, 9:42 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:42 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:42 AM
    My eldest son started at uni when the fees had been introduced at £3000 a year. He had very little tuition time, about 5 hours a week, with the rest being 'self-guided study'. Five years later, my youngest son started at uni, with a £9,250 ball of chain, and less than 8 hours tuition a week. This excuse of 'self-guided study' is an absolute cop-out and no value for money. I remember being amazed at the difference in five years all the universities having brand new facilities, or in the process of new buildings being built. All paid for by students, but no value in return. Incidentally, my youngest son has now dropped out of uni after one year as he felt he had not learnt anything!

    My middle son did a full-time apprenticeship at college, but has been unable to get a job as he has no practical experience. How do you get the practical experience without a job? I would like to see an affiliation between education providers and employers where the apprentices are employed for, say, six months in order to gain the experience necessary to get a job elsewhere. Otherwise, doing apprenticeship courses would seem to be a waste of everyone's time and money.
    • angel549
    • By angel549 6th Sep 17, 10:00 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:00 AM
    Certainly not for me!
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:00 AM
    I never went to university, nor did I stay on at my grammar school sixth form to do A levels. I went to college and did a BTEC National in graphic design instead with a part time job at a cinema.

    My sister on the other hand did go to university and came out with a degree.

    Now in our 30's, I am money savvy stoozer with a mortgage and a few grand savings with a great job just 15mins from home in Essex. My sister rents in Sheffield, struggles for every penny, and cannot open a bank account due to becoming near bankrupt about 5 years ago.

    Neither of us knew what we wanted to do with our lives or had a career plan. But we're both very different, so we never imagined that we'd both end up doing the same thing... and now we both work in marketing! She does more events and fundraising while i do digital and e-commerce. But both are marketing, and we're both management level.

    Here's how i believe it worked out so differently - my parents are amazing and saved up £12,000 for each of us. They called it a wedding fund. My sister used her £12,000 on her wedding in her early 20s. She's now on her second marriage.

    I on the other hand, at the age of 18, asked my parents if I could have the money as a deposit to buy my own flat. I was so lucky to get on the property ladder early, and get into work and build my career - and i could never have done it if i'd gone to university.

    I think everyone's different, and a huge difference between my sister and I is how we are with money. But still. Im GLAD i didnt go to uni. My reasons at the time were wrong, but it all worked out so well and unlike so many uni students, my only 'debt' is my mortgage.
    • Fluffybunny
    • By Fluffybunny 6th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 10:15 AM
    The most obvious issue is the fees in England and the lack of a maintenance grant. I still find it astonishing England based students are at a distinct disadvantage over their fellow UKers when it comes to going to University and nobody seems to be making a major noise about it. How can it be fair that a student from England can go on the same course in Scotland as a fellow Brit, but end up in huge debt - whereas the Scottish based student does not? They both may go for the same jobs (which could be in England). Why is the difference in tuition fees so huge between England and Wales? There is no distinction made between wealthy students and poorer students - yes they can all take out a loan, but the savvy rich would not, and the poor have to. Then there is interest on top of that. The maintenance loan is also an issue for first year students because they have to live somewhere. The quality of halls is not always great, but the charges are. I've seen so many Universities spending huge amounts on smart buildings that win awards and look snazzy, but I would rather money was invested so that students wouldn't have to pay so much just to attend. It's the quality of teaching that matters and I don't think that, given the number of teaching hours, students should be paying so much in England. Don't bring up the fees for Wales and Scotland, bring down the fees in England so that all UKers have an equal chance in life.
    • essjae
    • By essjae 6th Sep 17, 10:16 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    A few thoughts:

    I completed my first degree a few years ago now, when tuition fees were around £1250 pa, so my total student loan (incl living costs loan) was about £10k. My degree was science-based and fairly rigorous, around 20-25 contact hours per week, and though I decided not to work in the subject area afterwards, I would still regard it as a good choice financially, as there were transferable skills, plus moving away to uni allowed me to learn how to live independently in a slightly more supported way.

    Out of the 5 girls who I started out with in halls of residence, only one has gone on to work that directly or indirectly requires her degree. If I was to start uni now, expecting to end up with a debt of £30-40k, I don't think I could regard it as good value for money, particularly for some arts subjects which may only have 8-10 contact hours per week.

    A few years after I finished my first degree, I gained a place on a vocational training scheme equivalent to a Higher Apprenticeship, which included part-time study of a foundation degree tailored specifically to the industry, along with technical training courses and on-the-job learning. All the training was paid for by the company, and I was paid a decent wage. This led to my current job for the same company, which directly uses the skills and knowledge learnt on the training scheme. Obviously I regard this type of study as far better value than a traditional degree!

    Overall I think there is far too much emphasis on trying to get young people to go to uni, regardless of whether they are actually going to use their degrees afterwards. While for many it is a valuable step into independence, at the current level of tuition fees I think it is a very expensive way of doing that, unless you are certain that you are going into a career that directly uses your degree course.

    I think that the provision of vocational courses and apprenticeships should be greatly expanded, and that schools should encourage students into finding work or work-based learning in preference to traditional academic degrees, unless their preferred career choice requires it.
    I also think that the state should fully fund tuition fees for courses in subjects/skills which are in shortage - eg medicine, nursing.

    Anyway, that's my 2 pence worth!
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 6th Sep 17, 10:20 AM
    • 4,374 Posts
    • 9,958 Thanks
    I'm old and went to university when less than 20% of the population did, so there were no fees. Because my engineering degree also had a significant input from one of the science departments I had approximately 28 timetabled hours each week (tutorials, lectures, lab sessions, examples classes) rather than the five hours a poster above is suggesting - I'm aware this is high, even for an engineering degree, but even the people doing things like Ancient mediteranean studies had about 14 hours/week.

    I couldn't have got a graduate position in my field without a degree, and the alternatives were very limited, so it was entirely necessary. I still had to learn on the job, the teaching gives you a grounding but skills necessarily develop in the workplace.

    What changes would I make - Abolish tuition fees for students from England and Wales (Scots and overseas students to be charged full price, mirroring the policies in Scotland), restore the grant, based on student income / wealth, not parental income as students are adults and should be treated as such rather than as dependents. This will cost a lot, so reduce the number of places to about 20% of school leavers, which will make the entry requirements higher. Encourage through the tax system expansion of workplace apprenticeships as my feeling is that we don't place enough value on skilled rather than professional roles, and some people are simply more suited to workplace learning vs the university lectures + tutorials + self directed study method and funneling everyone into that is not allowing some to flourish.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • Magenta63
    • By Magenta63 6th Sep 17, 10:48 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    I think the apprenticeship system is flawed, and wide open to abuse. My son started what should have been a 1 year, level 3 apprenticeship. This has now turned into a 2 year, level 2 (which should not exist). As his employers already paid the college, without telling him, they say he is now locked in to it. The tutor cancels regularly, and he is bored rigid, doing module she passed years ago. It would have been far better to have been a paid employee, with fixed term day release to complete the qualification. He lives on very little and this will now continue, unless he leaves, which would be a shame, as he enjoys the actual job.

    The employer gets cheap labour and the college can do whatever they like, with no consideration for the apprentice.
    • MalcBridge
    • By MalcBridge 6th Sep 17, 11:00 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Time to take a step backwards?
    The move to very high 'University' attendance and resulting proliferation of virtually useless degrees is an expensive, if well-intentioned, mistake. I belong to the baby-boomer generation so attended Grammar School and University (at a time when University attendance wasn't much over 10%) at public expense and am now retired. However, during the second half of my career, the years when the effects of University expansion really came through, I was responsible, as an R&D Manager in a medium-sized company, for the recruitment of technical staff and saw the results very clearly, the principal one being that we had to employ candidates with poor degrees to do the Technician jobs that would have been filled by school-leavers with 'O' or 'A' levels (who would then have acquired further qualifications by day release) when I first entered employment. Our graduates were unhappy because they hadn't got jobs at the level (or salary) they had been led to expect and we were unhappy because we still had to train them up as such skills as they had were academic rather than practical, meanwhile paying them more than we would an equally useful school leaver.

    Don't get the impression from this that I am opposed to universal education. I firmly believe that everyone (child or adult) should have the opportunity to advance their knowledge and skills to the limits of their ability but I don't believe that the current system is fit for purpose. The basic concept of University education is the sharing of knowledge between researchers (lecturers) and students and subjects studied should therefore be limited to ones where research was possible and ongoing. Many of the subjects now taught to so-called degree level do not lend themselves to research, meaning that lecturers are either under-employed or part-time, neither a recipe for efficiency. I should like to see more account taken of the (admittedly blurred) boundary between academic and vocational training with the former remaining within the University sphere and the latter being returned to Technical colleges and equivalents where staff would be full-time teachers/lecturers. This should, if properly implemented, lead to considerable cost savings allied to the production of more useful (= employable) students.
    • Karen Bassett
    • By Karen Bassett 6th Sep 17, 11:25 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Karen Bassett
    University changed my life and prospects 30 years ago when I did a Science degree and it was all paid for by the state.If I had not received full funding I would not have gone. As a teacher I hope I have improved the future of 1000's of children and benefitted the country because of this. I received 20 hours a week contact time for about 35 weeks. If charged £9250 a year to do this degree now, it equates to about £13 an hour!!!! In lectures there were 70-100 people. In seminars there were rarely less than 8. Even in practical sessions there was at least a 1:15 ratio. So Universities are collecting 70 x £13 an hour for lectures (£910) and a measly £104 for a seminar. How do they cope????
    Compare this with other degrees where there may be only 6 hours per week contact time - how can this be worth over £9250 a year? At least in Science the experiments cost a bit!
    But the state cannot afford to send almost 50% of each cohort to Uni. and why should someone's desire to study a particular subject cost the nation for them to do so.
    The answer is having different costs for different subjects according to the needs of the nation. Medicine, Science, Engineering, Education etc. free (or even pay people to train - Physics teachers get over 20K to train - but there are too few Physicists to start because there is too little incentive because it's a challenging subject so fewer graduates.) Subsidise some degrees, charge for other degrees.
    Lots of art students will be up in arms about this - I understand, I wanted to do arts, but I wanted to a secure well paid career so Art and other areas had to become hobbies. We do need MOST subject areas, but in moderation. We have too many young people studying A levels in Media, Drama, Photography etc. My son's school has 4 doing A level Physics and 34 doing photography. The balance is wrong and we can make Degree funding a tool in encouraging pupils to take the less easy, but far more socially useful route.
    My son will go to Uni if he desires, but I think it is a rip off. I'd prefer him to do an apprenticeship. But he knows I will only pay if I consider (since I will pay because I can and because I will not burden him with debt, or the notion that debt is acceptable) the degree to be worthwhile. 3 years studying the Tudors, along with 1000's of others across the country will limit his potential employability.
    • JBR*
    • By JBR* 6th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I have studied both education and radiography at college/university. Both of these courses led directly to employment. I believe that they, along with others like them, are well worth going to university to study for that reason.

    Unfortunately, since a certain ex-PM insisted that 50% of school leavers should go to university, we now have many, many more university students compared to what we once had and, sadly, a very large proportion of those leave university with Mickey Mouse degrees or degrees which do not provide guaranteed employment.

    It is my belief that the number of university students should be reduced accordingly with a view to providing suitable applicants for those professions or other jobs that are available to those with the appropriate qualifications.

    In their place, we should have many more apprenticeships or similar 'learning on the job' places where work can be guaranteed at the end of successful completion.

    At the same time, people should be made aware that artisans are in no way inferior to academics. Young people should be encouraged to join the path to which they are most suited in both ability and their personal interest.
    • happyinflorida
    • By happyinflorida 6th Sep 17, 1:03 PM
    • 706 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    My son ended up in enormous debt because the conservatives and lib dems brought in tuition fees - what a disgraceful move when all of them got a free higher education when their families could all have afforded to pay but didn't have to.

    The university he went to - Canterbury - was a disgrace. His expensive accommodation was a nightmare because they allowed a 2nd year student to stay in 1st year on site accommodation - he and his friends were extremely noisy at all hours, preventing my son and many others from sleeping properly and broke the door down twice - nothing was done about that either. He and his friends stole food out of the fridge so in the end, my son and his fellow students in that area, 9 of them, could only eat tinned food for the year. - what sort of uni allows this? The 2nd year student should have been thrown out but they did absolutely nothing about him.

    The IT course was useless, he learnt nothing new in the 1st year, but the 2nd he couldn't understand much of it and got no help - just told to go to the library and teach himself. I offered to pay for extra tuition but he was told none was available! What sort of uni is like this? A very bad one.

    £thousands wasted and he ended up in debt for nothing.

    He was unemployed for years - made to work for no money by the DWP, never offered a job by any of these places he worked for free because they want free labour and he's now in a dead end job, earning peanuts.

    Thanks conservative party and lib dems - you will never get my vote, ever again.

    Now my other son is on an apprenticeship - what a complete waste of time and money that has been.

    He was told on day he started "there will be no job at the end of this" - he's been taught absolutely nothing except, mainly in the 1st year, how to move furniture and boxes. He has been taught nothing of value.

    He went to college one day a week and learnt nothing he hadn't already learnt previously in his previous IT courses.

    The situation in this country is dire thanks to the disgusting way the conservatives have dealt with everything.

    The young have no hope IMO because the corrupt cons are in power.

    We need a labour government to improve education, abolish tuition fees and give the NHS the money that is collected from our taxes, but not given to the NHS when it should be.

    Stop allowing big businesses to use tax loop holes and avoid paying tax - this is my biggest bug bear in UK.
    • wirehawker
    • By wirehawker 6th Sep 17, 1:11 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee is investigating the funding of post-school education, which includes universities, further education colleges and apprenticeships.

    They really want to hear what you think about the current system, and how it could be improved.

    1. Did your post-school education give you the skills you need?
    2. Do you think it was good value for money?
    3. What changes would improve the current system?

    Please tell us your thoughts below and we’ll send them on to the Committee.
    Originally posted by MSE William
    As my son won't post on this I feel obliged to do so. He is presently a mature student (33) at a university in Cornwall, returning this September for his final year.

    BEFORE responding to the questions I'll just say that he was (as were I and his mother) badly let down by the local education schools from his starting his schooling - EVEN with me having meetings with the teachers in the early years as to why he was unable to learn that 2+2 made 4 or half of 4 was 2. His school years were not *pleasant* and contained an amount of bullying.. for obvious reason. Eventually, thanks to starting at uni as a 31 year old he was given a diagnoses of dyslexia and dyspraxia. Why was this *missed* while in full time education from 5 years old to 16?

    He eventually plucked up the courage to do a 2 year BTEC at a local college when 27 which meant him leaving employment in a factory (working on a line) because the employer *would not* do job share or part-time working to allow him to *earn while learning*.

    As a 27 year old he was not entitled (told he was not entitled) to ANY financial assistance from the state which meant we had to support him - which caused some financial issues for us... but family is family. From his 2 years on the BTEC he gained a triple distinction for his subject (Photography) and had good support from his tutors at the college which helped him with this achievement.

    However, although he was able to gain a place at the University in Cornwall and be tested for the issues first mentioned above, he has had problems getting the time *with the tutors* to get the help, explanations and guidance he - AND OTHERS - should be able to get for the work they are set. Actual time with the *tutors* appears to be something around a maximum of 5 to 8 hours a week - if lucky... and for £9,250 per year plus the costs of maintenance loans during term times!!!

    After these last two years he probably *owes* somewhere in the region of £30/£35,000 with his final year bringing it up to around £48,000 to £55,000. In no way will he repay that some of money... but it is still a great concern to him.

    Q 1/ Is this course providing him the skills he needs? (A very open ended question... skills to do what?)

    A/ Most probably not. Most *skills* he is learning are *self taught* or gained from other sources AWAY FROM the university. Are self taught skills helpful - - - if the work handed in is not in the correct area expected from the tutor? When the tutor tells the student they went in the wrong direction... that's a demoralising way of *teaching/tutoring*.

    Q2/ Does he feel (at this time) he has had value for money?

    A/ Definitely a great big fat NO. He was seriously considering dropping out and not returning for his final year because of his experiences based from the previous two years *tuition*. If he left now he wouldn't be able to say if this final year would have given him the *skills* he needs to achieve the goal of a well paid occupation...

    Q3/ What changes would improve the current situation?

    A/ Based on what he has informed me/us of;
    More tutor time.
    An ability to get the *one to one* time needed by students identified with a *slower learning curve*.
    A better *constructive* feedback/guidance instead of *destructive* when work is returned from being marked.
    LESS of the *self learning*, being sent away with a brief idea of what is required for the work of that week or month and more *hands on* with the students.
    Students not being *left to their own devises to learn what they should be being *taught by the tutors*.
    And finally... a DRASTIC reduction in the salaries paid to the heads of these universities because they are not worth that amount of money.

    Universities have become a MONEY MAKING MACHINE in a number of areas and are no longer a TRUE place of LEARNING. Some 'Halls of Residence' are not fit for purpose and are akin to slums for 'less fortunate folk' instead of for out future working generations.
    • MartinWickham
    • By MartinWickham 6th Sep 17, 7:10 PM
    • 37 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    A mature society should grant to its young people an education appropriate to needs as a gift, the same gift bestowed on previous generations. We all reap the benefits of an educated society.

    The personal and national debts we are foisting on younger generations is morally corrupt and inexcusable.
    • ColinKistruck
    • By ColinKistruck 6th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    FE & Apprenticeships
    I have been a teacher and manager in FE for the past 12 years, I would say yes and no.
    On the yes side, if you consider that there has been a virtual pay freeze in FE for 10 years and little or no increase in funding from the government, the fact that FE still holds its own in delivering qualifications, preparing students for Higher Education, apprenticeships and work, there is definitely more for less

    However, and I believe more importantly, in terms of suitability and quality, its a definite no.
    Firstly the lack of investment in FE, the pay freeze etc, means that it is nearly impossible to recruit teachers, especially teachers with good industrial experience, ( why would you take a £10000+ pay cut to teach ), so FE is constantly being limited in the depth and range of provision due to limits of its teaching stock. Alongside this the near freeze on funding to FE per student over the same period has meant FE organisations have tailored delivery of course content to what is cost effective, limited range and choice of options etc. so that whilst the students get a qualification, the probability is that most of it is irrelevant to any career path chosen, of progress onto higher courses ( HNC / degree courses ).
    Lastly apprenticeship provision is under going a seismic change with the new apprentice standards. Again the available funding per apprentice, makes delivery of the much extended program content uneconomical for FE institutions, without the employers paying more on top. This does not overly effect the large employers ( BA, Rolls Royce etc ), who have their own training schools, developed the standards around this and effectively keep the funding themselves. Also the new apprentice standards and have so much content, need more resources to deliver etc that FE at best will not be able to deliver more than one or two, and stand to loose a lot of students from local employers who's apprentices do not fit into the provision.
    What to do to improve things, invest in attracting experienced teachers to FE ( eg with industrial experience ), stop treating education like football and judging it by league tables and how little can be spent on each student.
    • dalsude
    • By dalsude 6th Sep 17, 9:24 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I'd have been better off learning a trade
    I did an aerospace engineering degree because I was pushed into it by careers advisors trying to get more 'girls' into engineering. I also thought it would give me a well paid career. Unfortunately a combination of the British aerospace industry pretty much collapsing before I graduated, my not really enjoying the course and not having any contacts in appropriate companies meant that the career I'd hoped for didn't materialise. A lack of useful advice after graduating meant I just drifted into a job that didn't suck too badly. I was lucky that when I did my degree the loans were only just being introduced. I still had to work evenings and weekends to help support myself. It took almost twenty years after graduating before I earned enough money to have to pay the loans back. I feel so sorry for students today, the chances of them ever earning much money after graduating (especially females) is so slim and they have to start paying it back straight away.
    Having a degree (even in engineering) hasn't counted for much in terms of salary, as a female I've always been under paid and I've fallen behind my male counterparts by about £10k per year. Yes, I have pointed it out to employers but without concrete proof and a tribuneral there's not a lot I can do other than change jobs to get a pay rise. I would have earnt far more over the course of my working life if I'd learnt a trade or driven a truck.
    I've learnt far more useful skills from working than I ever did in my degree. My course didn't prepare us for the real world of work back then and I've had problems managing graduates, so nothing has improved. Degree courses don't teach business English (I shudder every time I get an email that starts with "Hey"), how to turn up on time, how to manage tasks or time, how to be proactive, how to ask questions, how to think creatively, interpersonal skills, common courtesy or team work. I don't expect graduates to know much at all about the job, but I do expect them to at least know the basics of how to work and how to learn.

    I would only recommend doing a degree in the following circumstances:
    1) it's something you're really interested in and would enjoy learning about and don't care whether it will give you a career,
    2) you have lots of money already and don't need to earn a good salary to pay back the costs,
    3) it's a vocational necessity.
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