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NoirAvlaa
August 14 2012, 11:50:42 AM
I've been thinking about the state of Education a lot more lately (I'm about to start year 2 of 5 studying Software Engineering) and have been thinking that the systems currently in place are horribly wrong for my country(UK) as a whole.

Costs are rising, applicants are being put off, and there are a lot of seeminglt useless "qualifications" around that get people no where after graduating.

I've been wondering what peoples thoughts on alternate systems being applied than the current ideology of "every degree is as important as every other degree, equality!" which is bullshit really.

The main alternate I think should be implemented is ranking degrees each year based on how much people with these degrees are needed by society, then basing how much each degree costs by rank. This would be calculated each year and the price would be set on application (ie. year 2 won't cost more than year 1 because the rank changes, you get your price at the start of the degree and it remains the same)

Example: Tim wants to do a Physics degree, instead of getting in to loads of debt for a degree that is useful to society, hard to study for and has a distinct lack of post-graduates, reduce the price to make it very cheap(say £1k per year instead of £9k). This would entice more people to take up the degree and, hopefully, give us more physics graduates.

Example 2: Tom wants to do a Fashion degree. This degree is offered, but overall not really needed by society at the moment (There may be a shortage of fashion designers in the future, but we probably have enough right now). So make this degree quite expensive. Then only the people that really want to do it would still consider paying the extra fees, and the other people who are on the bench either won't do a degree(Thus not costing the country more money in training them in something that they probably don't want anyway) or pick a degree that is more useful to society.

The outcome of this as far as I can tell would be probably less people going to university overall, but more people going to university on courses that are more beneficial to their area/country/state etc.

What are the potential pros/cons of this system, or any other system that may work? Any thoughts?

Smuggo
August 14 2012, 12:53:50 PM
Or how about just not pushing "academic-style" university qualifications for everyone?

I get the impression that for a lot of kids, university or shelf-stacking is put forward as the only real choice they have when they finish school. Most of them would probably be better off with vocational training on apprenticeships etc... But British governments are scared of suggesting that not everyone is academically gifted since they made such a mess with the tripartite system in the past.

My brother did an apprenticeship with Renault when he finished school, was a qualified car mechanic after 3 years, unfortunately that's when the recession hit and he got made redundant a year later. However, he then went and got on a new apprenticeship with National Grid and now works as a linesman for them (he qualified a year ago and they put him straight in a job.

When I look at how he has fared compared to me, I think he has done well. He never paid any fees, he got paid the whole time he was training (not loads but enough to live on and better than running up massive debts every year) and got straight into work and now has two potential careers he can go into (and he can fix his own car up no problem).

By contrast I did a bachelors degree, which cost my parents some £2,500 altogether at the time, plus I ended up with about £12k of debt (down to about £8k now I think) and now I'm planning to go and do a second degree so I can change career which is gonna cost me some £15k in fees and take 6 years as I have to do it part-tim :/ Sometimes being academic can be a bitch.

Anyway, I'd like more support for people who aren't academic to do something else, lower fees for those who are to ensure they can push themselves, and support for people to change careers should be available (obviously have a screening process to get the best out of it but currently there is just no support whatsoever).

Lallante
August 14 2012, 01:12:02 PM
University-for-everyone as a policy is dead.

Now its University-for-everyone-who-can-afford-to-spunk-£30k+-on-a-3-year-pissup.


I would do something like the OP's suggestion, but the problem is that if enough people stop doing the "shit" courses, how will you fund the discount "good" courses which inevitably cost a shitload more to put on (science subjects cost like 5x arts)

Smuggo
August 14 2012, 01:16:52 PM
University-for-everyone as a policy is dead.

Now its University-for-everyone-who-can-afford-to-spunk-£30k+-on-a-3-year-pissup.


I would do something like the OP's suggestion, but the problem is that if enough people stop doing the "shit" courses, how will you fund the discount "good" courses which inevitably cost a shitload more to put on (science subjects cost like 5x arts)

Don't science departments get a lot of cash from the UK Research Councils though which helps them cover the cost of labs, equipment etc...?

Sacul
August 14 2012, 01:28:34 PM
The main alternate I think should be implemented is ranking degrees each year based on how much people with these degrees are needed by society,

There is your flaw.
Who is going to decide this? on what basis?
If it was up to me i would completely scrap stuff like 'leisure time' (started as a polytech degree but expanded to a masters if linked to communication and marketing uni degree) but hey apparantly there is a big market for those people, well attleast there was before the crisis but the point is there was a shortage of that skill so they got paid a lot.

I think the biggest problem is the dumbing down of universities to cater to the masses. This in turn, in Holland, is coupled with the fact that Uni's get a bonus for every student who graduates. Hey low and behold quality isnt a factor anymore but quantity is.

Having read Yuto's rants it seems the same in Germany.

NoirAvlaa
August 14 2012, 01:41:59 PM
The main alternate I think should be implemented is ranking degrees each year based on how much people with these degrees are needed by society,

There is your flaw.
Who is going to decide this? on what basis?

I'm pretty sure the government already runs statistics by sector of which positions need filling and what qualifications we have a shortfall of etc. Couldn't we just use this?

Coming up with how much use subjects are to society would be a bit more difficult but not impossible. Maybe have brackets or something instead?

Zeekar
August 14 2012, 01:46:36 PM
The main alternate I think should be implemented is ranking degrees each year based on how much people with these degrees are needed by society,

There is your flaw.
Who is going to decide this? on what basis?
If it was up to me i would completely scrap stuff like 'leisure time' (started as a polytech degree but expanded to a masters if linked to communication and marketing uni degree) but hey apparantly there is a big market for those people, well attleast there was before the crisis but the point is there was a shortage of that skill so they got paid a lot.

I think the biggest problem is the dumbing down of universities to cater to the masses. This in turn, in Holland, is coupled with the fact that Uni's get a bonus for every student who graduates. Hey low and behold quality isnt a factor anymore but quantity is.

Having read Yuto's rants it seems the same in Germany.

Same is happening here as well. Highly educated population is in general better but the problem is this isnt happening with unis lowering their standards so much.

Amantus
August 14 2012, 01:49:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4FSx7W5CK4

KathDougans
August 14 2012, 05:13:40 PM
Reform of university culture is needed in a lot of institutions. There is a culture of teaching people to pass exams, same as exists in many schools, because exams are measurable, and measurements are easy to use as "proof" of things to the various regulatory bodies.

This has knock-on effects, as graduates from those institutions find their way into positions within those institutes and other places, particularly government research departments. Bad Science is performed, where the wrong kinds of statistical tests are used, and questionable conclusions reached.

There is an argument, it has been going on for well over a hundred years in the UK, where people argue what universities are for.
I recall reading a quote from someone the last time this sort of thing was talked about here on FHC. Quote was along the lines of: "Building more universities to produce more engineers that we may have superior steamships is short sighted. Universities are not mere factories for people. Universities are to further human knowledge of the universe, with the side benefits that we may have superior steamships"
Still true enough today.

In any case, the argument about what "type" of degree people should study, what numbers of places should be available, is difficult.

A graduate from a good degree course, should have a lot of useful abilities that are applicable across a vast range of subjects. Things like, being able to carry out a literature review on a subject. Being able to summarise and present things. Various thinking skills, like reading an article and recognising the biases in it.
The actual degree subject that the graduate studied isn't necessarily relevant, since the graduate should have the skills to become knowledgeable about almost any subject within a fairly short time.


For some things, such as engineering degrees, there is a problem in the UK, in that with much of the manufacturing industry having been relocated overseas, there is not the same level of contact between academia and industry, which reduces the relevance of what the academics can teach. A chemical engineering professor would know a lot about methods of process control and so on, that were used ten or twenty years ago, but what methods are industry using now? How would the chemical engineering lecturers keep up to date with things, and be able to teach the undergraduates ?


Science & engineering degrees, are also the most expensive degrees for a university to offer.
They require teaching laboratories to demonstrate things, workshops for students projects and courseworks, storerooms and supplies, and lab technicians to assist with all of these.
And, because of the way the funding works, it relates to the quality of research performed by the department, there are also research laboratories and workshops, requiring yet more lab technicians and supplies.
It's not just the expense of these facilities and personnel, it is also the space. Particularly for city campus universities. A building that hosts laboratories and workshops and stores to support 1000 engineering students, occupies a lot of space, and converted to lecture rooms, could support many times that number of other kinds of students, e.g. mathematics, who only require a blackboard + chalk (more or less).

Lallante
August 14 2012, 05:25:13 PM
I dont think the exams issue with universities is the same as with schools. With schools, league tables are based on exam result, but with Universities the exam results are almost irrelevant compared to the international reputation, research, and many other categories they are measured on.

The real problem is that funding from the Gov and from individuals is based on bums-on-seats while costs are very much variable by degree subject. It therefore makes sense to offer tonnes of cheap-as-shit arts courses to retards taught by idiot post-grads rather than a few expensive, well taught highly academic subjects. It also makes sense not to fail people or kick them out.

NoirAvlaa
August 14 2012, 07:00:10 PM
Maybe make it cheaper each year? ie. 3 year couse at £9k a year at the moment = £27k total. Instead of £9k per year, make it £20k for the first year, £5k for second and £2k for third. Same price overall, but now people will really think about their subject choice as if they drop out they're p. much fucked.

Thinking out loud a bit here though, the problems mentioned (mainly funding) seem to be what needs to be fixed first before moving to prioritise valuable education and research over bums-on-seats degrees.

Frug
August 14 2012, 07:13:15 PM
Maybe make it cheaper each year? ie. 3 year couse at £9k a year at the moment = £27k total. Instead of £9k per year, make it £20k for the first year, £5k for second and £2k for third. Same price overall, but now people will really think about their subject choice as if they drop out they're p. much fucked.

Thinking out loud a bit here though, the problems mentioned (mainly funding) seem to be what needs to be fixed first before moving to prioritise valuable education and research over bums-on-seats degrees.
I think first year students have enough stress without knowing that their first choice costs almost three times as much as it is now and that if they fuck up they're really royally fucked.

I think the opposite should be done for the sake of students and life choices. I wish I hadn't been rushed to go to uni, and that I had more time to dip my toes in different fields and figure out what I wanted to do. I love my education and had a great experience, but regret not knowing what I learned shortly after it was too late to change. Man I wish I had studied electrical engineering.

Joshua Foiritain
August 15 2012, 10:37:14 AM
Maybe make it cheaper each year? ie. 3 year couse at £9k a year at the moment = £27k total. Instead of £9k per year, make it £20k for the first year, £5k for second and £2k for third. Same price overall, but now people will really think about their subject choice as if they drop out they're p. much fucked.

Thinking out loud a bit here though, the problems mentioned (mainly funding) seem to be what needs to be fixed first before moving to prioritise valuable education and research over bums-on-seats degrees.
Terrible idea. Most students have no real idea what they want to with the rest of their life and its quite common to switch courses during or after the first year. In the Netherlands theres even a few systems in place to support this. (Quit your first uni course within 6 months and the student benefits you've received so far will be forgotten assuming you join another course next year and complete it for example)

Forcing people to stick with a course they dont like will just cause more people to drop out before graduation and being left with a large debt.

I would like to see high schools put less effort into general education and more effort into helping students figure out what they want to do, so more and longer work placements, classes where they look into what certain jobs/fields are actually like and having graduated ex-students show up and talk about the career they ended up in and what it is really like.

Of course this problem is made worse by the mentality that college is inferior and that you're not going to get a decent job if you dont go to uni.

Colleges and Uni's tend to lie their asses off to get more students so their brochures/websites/visiting days are not representative of what the actual course will be like and rarely offer any insight into the jobs that you will eventually get with their diploma.

Then theres of course all the bogus courses that are created simply pull in more students which barely provide any education, rarely result in actually being able to get a job and often just result in a free diploma. I still dont understand how these courses get through the accreditation process.

NoirAvlaa
August 15 2012, 12:42:24 PM
Terrible idea. Most students have no real idea what they want to with the rest of their life and its quite common to switch courses during or after the first year. In the Netherlands theres even a few systems in place to support this. (Quit your first uni course within 6 months and the student benefits you've received so far will be forgotten assuming you join another course next year and complete it for example)

Yeah that's a fair enough point regarding the staggered payment.

I do think (and it seems most people agree) that not enough emphasis is put on learning the skills required to actually work after getting a degree and it's more focused on exams/metrics. My brother used to hire all the time for a games company and he always said he prefered people who were self taught over uni graduates because the self taught usually had an idea of how much work was actually involved, whereas uni graduates struggled to keep pace with the rest of the team.

Last year (my foundation year) I realised how far from the "real world" university students actually think. I was hearing so many excuses to why work was late, why the work was poor, why it wasn't their fault because someone in their group slacked off and made them all fail. One guy regularly didn't listen in lectures, then complained that the lecturer wasn't teaching the work that she was setting. I had to constantly tell people to shut up because I was actually there to learn, not to fuck around.

I was student rep for that year (and probably will be for the course for the next 4 years) and so spoke to the lecturers a lot about this and tried to get ideas from the students as to what they feel would be better. Because of this, next year we're getting some people who actually work in the relevant positions in industry come in and tell the class how it is. I made sure to emphasise to the lecturers that these people shouldn't talk about "how great getting this degree would be from this uni etc" but more about "This job is really fucking hard, managers will probably shit on you, you'll probably work 70 hour weeks and hate the job, but you will still enjoy it for reasons you don't know and the rewards are X" etc.

I was also really confused on how people were failing a foundation year and needing to find excuses, in my eyes they were just lazy idiots who thought they could sit on their arse all year and still pass with no effort because they've seen it happen in Skins.

So yeah, I think industry needs to be linked more to education in Universities, instead of the University getting their curriculum from exam boards they should be talking to Industry leading institutions (Apple, MS, IBM etc etc) and figuring out what they would value in a degree, not what someone in an office at an examination board thinks these companies want. If the Industry values the degree and the exam board doesn't then you can still get a job, if the exam board values a degree and the Industry doesn't then GL finding work. (I'm not fully sure how the system works with degrees though, so someone correct me if I'm wrong or point me to some links that will tell me)


Then theres of course all the bogus courses that are created simply pull in more students which barely provide any education, rarely result in actually being able to get a job and often just result in a free diploma. I still dont understand how these courses get through the accreditation process.

And Mickey Mouse courses should be banned. Don't give a fuck how much money is involved, they do nothing for anyone, especially the people on them.

Smuggo
August 15 2012, 12:46:32 PM
Universities set their own course content and exams. You're thinking of schools which teach to an exam-board set standard.

NoirAvlaa
August 15 2012, 12:53:50 PM
Universities set their own course content and exams. You're thinking of schools which teach to an exam-board set standard.

Well in which case they still need to talk more with a lot of the industries to either instill a sense of hard work into the students or to create degrees that teach the skills the industries wants and need.

Smuggo
August 15 2012, 01:03:05 PM
Universities set their own course content and exams. You're thinking of schools which teach to an exam-board set standard.

Well in which case they still need to talk more with a lot of the industries to either instill a sense of hard work into the students or to create degrees that teach the skills the industries wants and need.

I dunno. Some things that aren't commercially viable, or not obviously commercial, are still worthy of study. If you did it the way you are suggesting then a whole bunch of stuff would no longer be studied which is still of value, just not monetary value.

I think a big problem is that people at the age of 18 aren't generally mature enough to dedicate themselves to studying hard. University has always to some extent been about chasing a lifestyle for people of that age and as a consequence they don't really apply themselves as well as they could, and it also causes some people to "study" in pursuit of a lifestyle who don't really care about the education at all.

I also think being made to be highly specialised in a given area at 18 isn't great either. I would much rather have had the change to study a lot more subjects at A-Level, then maybe specialise a bit more afterwards but still study several things, work a little, then go and specialise your education even more. But the way things are set up you seem to just get fed through a system where you get educated first, then work, and that's really it and there's not a whole lot of support for doing things at a slower pace and mixing up education and work throughout your adult life.

Lallante
August 16 2012, 09:34:37 AM
I was in a meeting with some high end Chinese clients yesterday, and they openly scoffed at UK education - "UK doesn't produce high end engineers anymore".

We are definitely falling further and further behind by encouraging tonnes of liberal arts shit degrees

Nartek
August 16 2012, 10:55:24 AM
Companies rapidly realize that a college education without practical application/skill utility... is fairly useless other than to prove that an individual *can* be trained further. For most of the work-force, a simple acceptance of this, and a shift towards skill-based training (I.E. Trade Schools, or the acceptance of "Fast Tracked" certification programs) makes people more viable in the workplace.

It's an institutional problem, until you can produce individuals who are ready to join the work-force; the workplace will not accept anything less than the status quo. And the schools are so far down the "We don't prep folks for life, we just prep them for the next school" road, that turning that ship around is going to be very difficult.

Students shouldn't need to rack up massive quantities of debt in order to achieve a middle-class lifestyle.

It can be fixed, but it involves a lot of pride swallowing. The universities in Japan and India aren't teaching choreographed swimming, nor are they demanding it as part of your "Comp/Sci" degree. They're too busy jamming comp/sci shit down your throat.

Lallante
August 16 2012, 11:00:45 AM
I think way too much emphasis is placed on individual choice. A 18 year old really has no fucking clue and rather than vainly trying to give him one the system and his teachers should make an educated guess and push him down the most relevant path that is actually useful for society. We could do with a tonne more engineers for example.

Smuggo
August 16 2012, 11:06:30 AM
I think way too much emphasis is placed on individual choice. A 18 year old really has no fucking clue and rather than vainly trying to give him one the system and his teachers should make an educated guess and push him down the most relevant path that is actually useful for society. We could do with a tonne more engineers for example.

There would certainly be merit in a wider curriculum at higher levels. Perhaps make it so that, once you start A-levels you can choose two subjects from the humanities and two from the sciences. If you go to university then you could spend the first two years studying one humanities and one sciences subject, and then after that you get a generalist higher education qualification, and can then go on and spend another two years specialising in one of the subjects for a more specialised qualification.

I definitely think giving kids so much choice at a young age is a bad idea. I think if I could go back now I would have chosen differently what to study at A-level, and having more input from teachers over what to study would have been good.

Chrien
August 16 2012, 11:12:18 AM
We need a lot less people studying Management as their first degree. Seriously a 21 year old with a management degree... yes I'm biased as a social sciences guy so I'm totally unqualified to comment, much like they would probably argue my degree has no value.

NoirAvlaa
August 16 2012, 11:52:38 AM
I was lucky in that I went to college and knew what I was good at so did that (Maths). Then I took 4 years out and got a job before I decided roughly what I want to do, looked at the courses and applied for a Foundation course with transfer onto Software Engineering. Completed the Foundation year easily enough (because lol if I failed that then I should just give up) and am starting Software Engineering.

The good thing about my Uni is they set up all of the computing courses to have the same first year with general computing knowledge/skills in multiple fields, then if after that year I decide I want to do Cyber Security instead then I can just transfer full in the knowledge that I've done the exact same course as everyone else on there. (The courses in this uni are mostly 4 year courses too, not 3 years). So it's generalise at the start, specialise at the end.

Agreeing with everyone else here so far in that too much choice is put onto kids who don't know what they want to do without enough support or guidance to go with it. If I went back now I probably would do Maths and Physics instead of Maths and Statistics at A-Level, but still take some time off. (Time out of education is a good thing IMO, means people can see what work is actually like and has helped me be more focused now I'm back in education).

I really would like to see more emphasis placed on teaching people skills that are good for society, pushing engineering and sciences over most other subjects, trying to make them actually interesting in High School (Though this is more of a problem with the teacher being boring rather than the subject, so maybe try and evaluate teachers on performance then figure out why teacher X is better than teacher Y, then trying to support teacher Y by training them in new teaching techniques, methodologies etc). And definitely more control to the schools that are teaching to control the curriculum and having their curriculums evaluated regularly to make sure they are good enough to teach the kids things that aren't just there because "it's on the exam".

I like Smuggo's idea of choosing different A-Levels, and then specialising more in Uni. But I'd say that in Uni the first year should still be pretty "general" giving students the option of a change of course after first year once they have a better understanding of what each course entails(ie. my course I mentioned above).

All that and taking a gap year or 2 should be seen as something to promote. So far the people on my course who have worked and then come back to education have all generally been more focused and are getting higher marks than the people straight from College. I put this down to having a better understanding of why they're actually there and what the end goal is.

Smuggo
August 16 2012, 11:59:50 AM
All that and taking a gap year or 2 should be seen as something to promote. So far the people on my course who have worked and then come back to education have all generally been more focused and are getting higher marks than the people straight from College. I put this down to having a better understanding of why they're actually there and what the end goal is.

I agree with this. Doing A-Level maths at the moment self-taught to prepare me for doing a second degree in science and I am finding it much easier to motivate myself to study and really feel so enthusiastic about it and keen to press on, which is not how I felt when I was younger after so many years of just education made me a bit blasť about it. I do remember working with some mature students on group projects at uni and they were certainly a lot more driven I thought.

Problem is, society doesn't really support this route very well. Employers often aren't that keen to offer sabbaticals (not the ones I have worked for anyway) so staff can go and study and know they have a job to come back to. Also, if you end up getting a mortgage or whatever while you are working and then decide to go back to education you won't get the support you need from the bank or govt to keep your house so a lot of people end up stuck with working.

NoirAvlaa
August 16 2012, 12:04:32 PM
I don't really count getting a mortgage as something to do until late 20s/early 30s these days, people live too long and there's no real reason for it to be an early 20s thing any more asides from saying "I have my own house", renting until you have a well paid job is fine.

The only time I see getting a mortgage in early 20s as a good thing is for young families who will pretty much stay there for the next 16-18 years, at which point it makes more sense than renting and they're not likely to go back to Uni.

Smuggo
August 16 2012, 12:10:34 PM
I don't really count getting a mortgage as something to do until late 20s/early 30s these days, people live too long and there's no real reason for it to be an early 20s thing any more asides from saying "I have my own house", renting until you have a well paid job is fine.

The only time I see getting a mortgage in early 20s as a good thing is for young families who will pretty much stay there for the next 16-18 years, at which point it makes more sense than renting and they're not likely to go back to Uni.

Yes but then you assume people work for just a couple of years before deciding to expand their education. There's not much support for people who might have done 10 years or more working before deciding to seek more education.

NoirAvlaa
August 16 2012, 12:26:40 PM
I don't really count getting a mortgage as something to do until late 20s/early 30s these days, people live too long and there's no real reason for it to be an early 20s thing any more asides from saying "I have my own house", renting until you have a well paid job is fine.

The only time I see getting a mortgage in early 20s as a good thing is for young families who will pretty much stay there for the next 16-18 years, at which point it makes more sense than renting and they're not likely to go back to Uni.

Yes but then you assume people work for just a couple of years before deciding to expand their education. There's not much support for people who might have done 10 years or more working before deciding to seek more education.

Ah right... bad assumption on my part then... Would you think more institutions such as the Open University and Universities offering more night/part time courses would be a good solution? Or are you talking more about finding ways to make employers offer more support for people wanting to return to education but not have to quit work to do it?

Smuggo
August 16 2012, 12:29:55 PM
I don't really count getting a mortgage as something to do until late 20s/early 30s these days, people live too long and there's no real reason for it to be an early 20s thing any more asides from saying "I have my own house", renting until you have a well paid job is fine.

The only time I see getting a mortgage in early 20s as a good thing is for young families who will pretty much stay there for the next 16-18 years, at which point it makes more sense than renting and they're not likely to go back to Uni.

Yes but then you assume people work for just a couple of years before deciding to expand their education. There's not much support for people who might have done 10 years or more working before deciding to seek more education.

Ah right... bad assumption on my part then... Would you think more institutions such as the Open University and Universities offering more night/part time courses would be a good solution? Or are you talking more about finding ways to make employers offer more support for people wanting to return to education but not have to quit work to do it?

I think better employer support is definitely needed, and ways for the government to help people to continue paying for the various commitments they will continue to face (mortgage interest assistance for example).

Zeekar
August 16 2012, 12:34:58 PM
I think way too much emphasis is placed on individual choice. A 18 year old really has no fucking clue and rather than vainly trying to give him one the system and his teachers should make an educated guess and push him down the most relevant path that is actually useful for society. We could do with a tonne more engineers for example.

CCCC.

I actually flipped coins when I was deciding what I'm going to study when I was 18. Choices were between math/physics/mechanical engineering/medicine. I was slightly afraid I wont get accepted to medicine because I didnt have top marks (it turned out i would be accepted gg) and the rest interested me on a equal level so i just flipped coins.

NoirAvlaa
August 22 2012, 11:26:46 AM
Found this :- http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/07/world-education-rankings-maths-science-reading

Had a quick look at where their source material is from and it seems above board (Not sure how it couldn't be really). My question is, are we performing the same and all the other countries that are overtaking performing better these days, or are we performing worse and they're performing about the same? Or as we get worse, they get better?

After that, what are the other countries doing to get higher up here. Finland is right up at the top, and their schools are completely run by the state, they don't have as many formal exams etc. (correct me if I'm wrong). What are the other countries doing? Anyone from one of the other countries care to explain their system? :)

Dark Flare
August 22 2012, 12:08:38 PM
My view on education is that University should be getting cheaper, not more expensive. However, it should be getting MUCH harder to get in. This "everybody can go to university" bullshit is nonsense. University is NOT the right choice for a huge amount of people. But for those that will truly benefit, it's essential we get them in there doing it. It should be the place for the academic and intellectual, not the rich.

(I'd also do away with a lot of the shitty degrees that mean nothing in the real world, but that's a much more grey business)

Smuggo
August 22 2012, 12:12:12 PM
My view on education is that University should be getting cheaper, not more expensive. However, it should be getting MUCH harder to get in.

Pretty much this.