Monday, 27 February 2012
University? No thanks!
Whilst I was on holiday, I chanced to read an interesting article about the downturn in applications for University places. This, of course, is being blamed on the increased tuition fees - but then they would say that, wouldn't they?
Is it true? Well, I don't think so...
Statistics are used to point out that the decline in UK applications is more pronounced in England where the fees can be as much as £9,000. But then this is perfectly logical if you think about it. Given the opportunity to study elsewhere at the same standard for less, why would you choose England? It's plain common sense.
But whilst we're on the subject of common sense, let's ask the obvious question : Do you actually need a university degree in the first place? According to UCAS, 230,340 men and 309,731 women have applied for courses.That's still a staggering 540,000 applicants out of a total population of around 70 million. Multiply that by a three year course and we have about 1.62 million students in college which is around 2.3% of the population. Take out the old people and the babies and the percentage is even more frightening - and these are the decreased numbers...
The simple fact is that we have been brainwashed into thinking that the only way to succeed in live is to get a degree. This suits the politicians because the mantra of 'education, education, education' kept people off the dole queue. The trouble is it's only a temporary fix. Eventually the numbers drop out and the unemployment figures rise again. It's a fudge. Blame Tony Blair. He's the one who started it all.
What is certainly happening is that there is a huge decline in degrees which are seen to be of little practical value. People are being more discerning in their choices, and that's a good thing. At the end of the day, your degree in Geography isn't going to land you a top job, because it's not actually practical.
At the end of the day, it's no use moaning that the degree you got in the subject you liked doing won't get you the job you want. You have to choose the degree that fits your chosen career. It should come as no surprise that people intelligent enough to get to University are actually intelligent enough to have worked this out.
And if increasing the tuition fees has been a catalyst to this divine revelation, then I say they are a good thing...