Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Be careful with British higher education

The government basically wants universities to economise, there’s a suggestion of two year degrees.

A lady from the Russell Group (UK Ivy league) on channel 4 news made the point that it’s not as if British unis are operating in a mass of waste. She also said that in order to come effectively out of a recession, it is vital we have credible and high quality universities so that our young people can compete in the global job market. Government says to cut back and save cash – like families this Christmas.

Government, in this case David Lammy, the relevant minister, doesn’t get it; I agree with the Russell Group lady. Universities are not the same as families – the problem of money needs to be dealt with differently. The UK is not in a good position when it comes to competitive workers – we need to be beefing up this area not weakening it. Admittedly, many of our problems in these areas do not relate to our universities but it doesn’t make sense to weaken our position by lessening the effectiveness of our unis and trust me – cutting funding will weaken their effectiveness.

How about some inventive thinking so that people can be allowed to study effectively on a part time basis? More inventive on campus job opportunities for people in exchange for tuition? Some tax breaks for people who study for a period of time? Bonding people to work in the public sector for a minimum of 2 years after studying? Things can be done. There are some lazy officials out there I think.

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