All entries for Sunday 26 March 2006
March 26, 2006
This is something I have considered for a while and thought would be a good way to starts my blog.
Though I was prompted by this remark in the middle of a totally separate debate.
"Tony Blair wants 50% of the population to get a degree. I've never heard such a load of cobblers. That was tried in, of all places, Soviet Russia in the 1970s, with disastrous consequences. Farms couldn't get workers, professors had to sign on near-illiterates to fill quotas (something beloved of the central planning control freaks in the Blair gvt, with their obsessions over waiting lists etc), and education was soon seen as a joke, something any fool could get. By contrast, those who could actually do something such as tradesmen became greatly in demand. I'll stop here as this is clearly a subject for another blog someone might want to start. " James
This seems a sensible standpoint which I will deconstruct further.
The first question how much academic education do we need to function well in a society and at what stage in School education do we achieve this ?
I ask this because if you take the extreme view that everyone should start working as soon as they can do what they need to do. Then all you need is get to the stage of functioning well then learn your specialist trade..
This is clearly a flawed argument because of the need for transferable skills in a fluid and unpredictable Job market, and the important desire to want to further human knowledge in general.
But you can go to far the other way.
People are studying at university for reasons that are very superficially created.
Before I expand on this I must say I believe everyone has the right to go to university if they desire to do so. And at no point in this am I referring to Warwick university individually.
What I believe is happening though is many people are going to university because of the fear that the lack of a degree will inhibit their professional career. In doing this SOME are studying a subject they have little interest in and are loosing years of their live where they could be earning money.
They are going to university because of the fact that they feel they need a rubber stamp saying 'I have got a degree therefore, I am intelligent, reliable, hard working or whatever; enough so I can get certain types of Job… If you look at it like this it is odd that are society has evolved to this so inefficient way entering work.
Could put more but you get the gist, I will expand if their are any comments/ question.