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 Talk4England
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 21
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all courses run or proposed to be run by Unis are subject to the strict control and audit of the Quality Assurance Agency


And this Agency/process is failing severely.

Having been out of my field for a while (10 years - I retired early).
And when I was working in computing we had a saying - if you went away for a long week-end whole architectures and technologies became redundant & were replaced by new, so 10 years would seem eons.

Decided to get back up to speed by signing on for another degree , Internet Computing, at a fairly well known old Uni.
Yep I could have done it on my own but thought that the interaction with similar minds would be better than sitting on my own doing it.

Boy was I wrong , the course was a mixture of trivial, innaccurate (read wrong) , irrelevant and with content that would be considered dated when I left work.

I tried to 'correct' one lecturer by explaining the statements she made about something not being possible by showing her something I had done as a commercial project about 15 years ago. Not interested.

I tried to discuss curriculum & content with the course designer (co-incidentally my personal tutor) - not interested because the course had passed its quality audit.

Tried to 'rally' the undergraduates , explaining to them the trivial stuff was a time-waster and overall the course needed an injection of reality or their degree would be worthless in the real world. Response: the easier it is, the more time we'll have to get p*ssed and still get a degree.

Finally I quit and got my fee back after threatening them on grounds of Trades Descriptions.

Degrees dumbed down I think.
 Talk4England
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 23
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Posted: 11/16/2008 11:19:12 AM
Perhaps the Druids have got that market sewn up so no place for an out of work witch?!?
 skyscraper_gb
Joined: 3/4/2007
Msg: 50
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Posted: 12/12/2008 12:40:31 PM
I Went to a Grammar school which I left in the mid 70's with very poor quals (5CSE's at grads 2-5 and 1 GCE) I had the brains but didn't use them.
However over the next 20 yrs I completed 2 different apprentiships (1 in crash repair panel-beating, the other in vehicle bodybuilding). Finally after much prompting from friends who had done degrees in the late 70's I took the plunge and did an access course then went of to Uni in 94.

I spent 5 years at a former Polytechnic in the North East where I completed and HND (2 yrs) a BSc (2yrs) and finally an MSc all in engineering. During that time I found that the only qualification that really stretched me was the HND, with the hardest thing about the MSc being staying awake during lectures. I also found that during the BSc and MSc that there was a lot of spoon feeding going on in order to keep bums on seats as education is very much a business nowadays.

Following my studies, it took me over 6 months to secure a low level production engineering job even though I had nearly 20 years experience within engineering.
even then it was, and still is difficult to earn a decent wage that reflects my knowledge and abilities across various industries such as pressure vessels, welding engineering, aerospace, defence etc.

I have recently been lucky enough, too have secured a job as a lecturer in welding and engineering at a local college. something I would not been able to achieve without my qualifications and industrial experience, as I have no teaching experience.

From this position I can see once again the bums on seats attitude of education centre management, with education seen as big business. Students are being allowed on courses that either do not have or are likely to achieve the required practical or educational skills to make the most of the oppotunities offered by the education system. And an expectation that I and my collegues will do all that is neccessary to keep them onboard and nurse them through to the end of the course.

From my experience of the 'younger students' at both University and now at College, it would not be a bad policy for Colleges and Universites to insist that ALL students have atleast 2 years full-time work experience. That way they would see how bad, low level jobs are, and so would be more inclined to get their heads down and study the course, rather than their social calender or the price list in the Uni or other local bars.

The multitude of courses, the general modern idea of dumbing down and the ease of access to non-essential courses, is, in my oppinion definitely devalueing the education system in this country.

And as far as the funding of courses goes, the levels of government funding for a course should reflect societies current need for that particular skill set and its graduates input into the economy. i.e. engineers (mechanical, electrical, computer etc), plumbers, chippies, electricians, nurses doctors et al, full funding. criminology, sociology film studies and the like should recieve little or no funding.
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