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Dubious degrees.

Posted by Big John on August 21, 2007

One thing that I used to regret was not having had a university education; that is until later in life when I encountered a number of ‘academic morons’ in the course of my work, and many very bright people with qualifications which were completely useless to them when it came to earning a living.

When I finished my formal education in 1955 at the age of sixteen, very few working class young people went on to university, unlike today when political priorities mean big increases in the numbers of students in higher education, and ‘dumbing down’ of standards means that it is almost impossible to fail the qualifying examinations.

OK, so I never got to punt on the Camb or ride a bike through the streets of Oxford with my books in a basket on the front, and I’ll never know what it would have been like to be an archaeologist or an architect, and anyway if I had managed to make it to some ‘red brick’ college I’d have probably ended up shaking test tubes in a laboratory or shuffling papers in some government department for a living; unlike today’s students who can study at ‘uni’ (as they insist on calling it) so called ‘non-courses’ which, we are told, will prepare them for employment after leaving ‘the halls of academia’.

Here are just a few of the 401 courses which have been identified at British universities and have been described as being ‘light weight’ and of little or no academic merit.  

  • Golf management.

  • Baking technology.

  • Equestrian psychology.

  • Science fiction and culture

  • Aromatherapy

  • Specialist make-up design

  • Martial arts and adventure tourism.

  • Outdoor adventure and philosophy.

  • Fashion buying.

I suspect that at the end of such ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses (which cost the tax payer £40 million pounds a year)  graduates pick up their diplomas in a hallway from a box marked … ’1st class degrees.  Please take one’.

At the start of the TV show ‘University Challenge’ the contestants state their names and disciplines such as   … “Dick Knowitall, reading history” or “Daisy Cleverglogs, reading physics” .. at the end of which I have been known to chip in with a not very funny … “and Big John reading comics”…

…   Perhaps I can become a ‘mature student’ ?

4 Responses to “Dubious degrees.”

  1. gawilli said

    My daughter just finished her college work this last month. It took about two semesters longer than intended because the University kept canceling the classes she needed due to low enrollment. Its times like that when you take these dopey classes. Its probably a reuse to keep the tuition money rolling in just a little bit longer.

  2. I was a mature student while still in the service and got a BA honors English and with that sheep skin now with $2.50 Cdn.
    can buy a coffee at amy Starbucks, ha ha

    There is a rush in this country for every job, no matter how trivial, to demand that the applicant have a degree of some sort.
    So we have the ridiculous situation of gas station attendants having to have a BA or better.

    JWL

  3. frisby said

    In the last 27 years since I left school, I have never done a job where my qualifications were asked for..hoo needz kwalifikations anyway! ;)

  4. Red Baron said

    I did my degree 3 years after leaving school, it was an enforced situation and I’m glad that’s how it turned out, I did not therefore go to college because it was what everyone else did, nor because my school were telling me to get a job in X field I would need qualification Y with Hons.

    These days there are increasingly few people in Universities who are not merely there to have the box ticked, they have no sense of the whats and the whys of their degree and they aren’t interested. Thus the actual value of it as an education has diminished hugely. It is no surprise to me that Derby University have taken the next logical step in offering fast-track 2 year degrees.

    To my mind give the idiots their piece of paper and tell them to feck off and let those who want to learn actually use the teaching resources available. Education is a right but with that right comes responsibility.

    And leyek Frizbee I hav, az yet, never bean aksed two proov miy kwalifikayshuns

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