August 28, 2013

The Cult of University, Ctd



I recently wrote an open word of warning to GCSE and A-Level students considering going to university. The message was simple: think for yourself. Engage your critical faculties and make an informed choice. Absolutely do not opt for university on the altogether and very vague notion that university is a ticket to prosperity. Because a degree absolutely is not.

Future Talent tweeted and posted the article on their Facebook and gave the following response:
The only point we disagree with is the statement - "A good apprenticeship is better than a poor degree..." In the growing market of apprenticeships, very often a good apprenticeship is just as strong as a good degree.
I actually agree with this and am a settled advocate of employer-led project learning which produces work ready graduates who are at symmetry with the market on both informational and skills terms.

Chris Dillow writing here also made an interested contribution to the debate and did so without meaning to, for he was actually writing about Jamie Oliver and free will in a post entitled, 'Limits To Agency.'' But his analysis applies readily to this topic. He said:
"There's not much agency involved when an Etonian goes to Oxford and thence to politics or the City: As Owen Jones rightly wrote, David Cameron is also "a prisoner of his background."
 And that's it. The middle-classes and socially aspirational often don't act with agency when they go to university. It is the duty of their background.

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