Jiva Technology

Its time to end the obsession with going to university

The education system in the UK has become so fixated on the need for as many students as possible to go to university, that its becoming a danger to both universities and students alike. Starting with the Blair government, going to university was seen as an unequivocally good thing. Going to university meant more opportunity and higher wages, because in the past, people who went to university typically had higher wages etc. Little thought appears to be given to the fact that this might be true when 10-15% of the population had a university degree, but would it hold true when 50% of the population was going to uni.

Out went a fairly nuanced educational system where people chose from high quality trades qualifications, technical qualifications like HND and HNC and degree qualifications, to a point where schools seem only to talk about degrees as a sign of success. This has to change. Its not only the students who are going to suffer. Excessive student debt for a graduate with qualifications that don’t lead to a high paying job and mirrored by universities who’ve borrowed to expand facilities and growing demand. There is a real danger that we could end up with both students and institutions saddled with un payable debts. A modern economy needs a mixed workforce and a flexible educational system that allows good quality training for trades, technical and degree levels. There have been numerous reports pointing this out, but very little progress. The debacle over learn direct shows just how badly students are being let down. And its not just students, its employers who need people with the right skills to grow their business. The UK consistently fails to train enough doctors, nurses, engineers and computer programmers. It has done for years with out any indication that things will change. Instead, its left to individuals to ‘read the runes’ and head in the right direction. At the age of 18, that’s an incredibly tall order.

Its time for a change.

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