Saturday, 9 November 2019

University degrees

should not be effortless and I am not sure they should be short. I certainly have some doubts about doing a worthwhile degree from any reputable university in the space of six months. However it should be possible to do a short course in that time.
This has come up because there is yet another proposal for a change to the way people can study for degrees. Apparently people "don't want to go and study full time for three years like teenagers". No, perhaps they don't. Does that really mean they should be able to do a "degree" in six months?
The Senior Cat did his degree "part-time" over a number of years. Like many others of his generation he had no other way of doing it. It required a good deal of dedication and determination on their part to get a "bachelor's". 
When the Senior Cat was doing his degree I remember seeing the lists of "Latin vocab" on the shaving cabinet. He had to make use of any spare moment available. He had to complete the same amount of work as anyone else enrolled for that degree.
So why should it be any different now? The nature of university degrees has changed here. Universities are no longer institutions where the best and brightest students study. "Going to university" is, as one student put it recently, "just something you have to do". The Vice-Chancellor who was talking about six month degrees  was also saying that we need to raise the number of people who have a degree from around thirty percent to fifty percent. 
Half the population? When the Senior Cat did the first subject there were just a few hundred at the only university in the state. Now there are thousands at that university alone. In percentage terms it has been a massive increase. 
Is that a good thing? Is that what universities are really about? Is a six month degree really going to be the same as the degrees I did?
What's wrong with awarding a certificate for a six month course or a diploma for a course of one or two years?

1 comment:

Jodiebodie said...

What are modern universities for - education, elitism, ideology or big business?