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University non-courses attacked

(10 Posts)
speedymama Tue 21-Aug-07 09:00:13

I chuckled to myself when I read this article.

Whilst I appreciate the point that the universities make that, in their opinion, there is great demand for these non-academic courses, I seriously do question whether courses like these should be at degree level.

I mean, Outdoor Adventure with Philosophy! Does it really take three years to learn how to organise as well as motivate a group to climb a rock or row a boat? I bet the students have great time though!

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 09:03:49

It's going to go the way of the US: where a degree is a pre-requisite to getting almost any kind of job, including call centre work, it is so devalued these days (professional degrees like accountancy, medicine, pharmacy and the like excepted, of course).

Now you've got a huge swing back towards vocational college and skilled trades there, especially as there is no stupid, discriminatory age limit to apprenticeships and vocational training there - a short-sighted and discriminatory practice if ever there was one in an era where we're all going to have to work till we drop.

lionheart Tue 21-Aug-07 09:11:45

I can see the logic of all those courses, in a way but I imagine you'd have to take a look at the course content and objectives, as well as the students to really see

what they are about. The golf one, I know, is always cited in articles like this but golf is a multi-million pound part of the leisure and sports industry.

I also take youir point seriously expat. There is an absurb fixation on university/degree education when other forms of training/education are just as valid.

ImBarryScott Tue 21-Aug-07 09:18:14

At least some of these courses are more targeted at the job market, though.

I have a degree from a prestigious university, in a traditional subject. But what use is a Philosophy degree when looking for a job? I know the arguments about transferable skills, critical thinking etc., but these should be inherent in all degree level courses. If I was running a golf course, I'd take a Golf Studies grad over a Philosophy/Classics/English student any day !

speedymama Tue 21-Aug-07 09:25:27

I don't know much about NVQs but I don't understand why they got rid of qualifications like HNC/HND/ONC etc. City& Guilds have been around for many years and are credible, practical qualifications that are valued by employers. One can study for them and work at the same time. Why does everything now have to be of degree standard? It is totally unnecessary.

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 09:32:05

Lion, I know many university-educated people who went back to become sparks, masons, plumbers, tilers, mechanics, etc. Plenty of them women, too. As I said, the nice thing there is that there is no age limit on vocational ed/apprenticeships. So long as you are fit to do the course, you're in.

You see more females in such trades, too.

lionheart Tue 21-Aug-07 10:15:11

I think the pursuit of degrees for all is primarily a political aim.

lionheart Tue 21-Aug-07 10:17:42

I understand how what used to be called "learning a decent trade" came to be so devalued, because it was about closing down choices for the working classes

(the 11 plus debacle etc) but trying to get everyone to take a degree is ludicrous.

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 10:20:14

Not to mention the debt these students become slaves to just to do so.

lionheart Tue 21-Aug-07 10:22:13

Absolutely.

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