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Too many universities teaching useless degrees
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:52 pm    Post subject: Too many universities teaching useless degrees Reply with quote

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/04/14/too-many-universities-teach-pointless-degrees-that-offer-nothing/?ref=yfp
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree. It says 23 universities produce the average male graduate who earns less than those who had not been to university at all. Now they are probably saddled with student loan debts.

These 'useless' or Mickey Mouse degrees came into being in the late 1990s as the Labour government created the target of having 50% of all students in higher education by 2010. The situation is not helped by the conversion of polytechnics into new universities in 1992.

How can employers take 3 year degrees such as ' Surf Science; Golf Management; David Beckham studies; Harry Potter studies; Photography" seriously? What do they actually qualify one to do?
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Knedliki



Joined: 08 May 2015
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:


How can employers take 3 year degrees such as ' Surf Science; Golf Management; David Beckham studies; Harry Potter studies; Photography" seriously? What do they actually qualify one to do?


TEFL
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1939

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:14 pm    Post subject: Degrees of success? Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
How can employers take 3 year degrees such as ' Surf Science; Golf Management; David Beckham studies; Harry Potter studies; Photography" seriously?


The Surf Science and Technology degree offered by Plymouth University has defied its critics:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/8259015.stm

The Applied Golf Management Studies BSc is offered by the University of Birmingham (established in 1900) in partnership with the PGA. According to the University website, "Graduates from this degree programme have found employment in golf facilities around the world."

Degrees in Photography are not exclusive to the post-1992 universities; the University of Edinburgh (founded in 1582) offers a BA (Hons) degree, and the Royal College of Art (London), which received its Royal Charter in 1967, offers an MA. Students from the latter institution "graduate with a rich portfolio of talents and skills, and go on to create new work in an impressive variety of roles and companies around the world."

There are indeed employers who take these qualifications seriously.

By the way, there are no degrees in either David Beckham or Harry Potter studies. In 2000 Staffordshire University offered a module in football culture for students taking media studies, sociology or sports science degrees. It featured Beckham, but he was not the central focus. The Department of Education at Durham University (established in 1832) offers a module entitled Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion.
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Hod



Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 1515
Location: Home

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for offering an opinion and not a link to someone else's. I'm taking (much-needed) golf lessons now. The golf pro(s) at any club won't be particularly rich nor have the most sociable of working hours, but they'll love what they do. They also have a natural talent for teaching. Whatever level of golfer you are, you can go to a pro with a playing problem, and they'll sort it quickly.

These golf degrees do require a ridiculously-low golf handicap of about 3 or 4, so it's not as if anyone can turn up and study. Fair play to anyone taking that route.
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What does this have to do with ESL?
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:
What does this have to do with ESL?


Quite a lot actually. EU students are able to get loans through the Student Loans Company to study at university in the UK. Many of these students take out big loans to fund their studies. Unfortunately EU students believe that a degree from a British university will open doors, but the truth is that many graduate with a useless degree and are burdened with thousands of pounds worth of debt. Many of these students leave the UK upon graduation and default on their debt.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2666474/UK-loses-40m-EU-students-Thousands-default-taxpayer-funded-loans-owed-triples-just-two-years.html

I believe that students should have access to more information about the true economic value of their degrees, but the universities themselves are reluctant to come clean on this because of a concern in jeopardising revenues. Luckily the government is aware of the problem and is encouraging more transparency in the area, but students from poor backgrounds are still being sold dodgy courses and the university dream and being left high and dry when they start looking for a job:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-1350362/Dream-job-We-waiting-Meet-degree-educated-waiters-career-plans-currently-ice.html
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1939

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:14 pm    Post subject: Dodgy? Reply with quote

Neither of the articles cited supports slapntickle's claims about "useless degrees" or "dodgy courses." The first deals with EU students defaulting on UK government-backed loans and the Student Loans Company's efforts to recover the debts. It makes no reference to the degree subjects, the graduates' job prospects or the reasons why some of them fail to repay their loans. The second article features five graduates who have so far been unable to find work in their chosen fields. They have degrees in Forensic Science, Maths, Marketing, Law, and Egyptology. There is no indication that any of the interviewees are from poor backgrounds and none of them are "high and dry"; they all have jobs and are upbeat about their future.
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Captain Coddo



Joined: 04 Feb 2012
Posts: 44
Location: East Coast

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:53 pm    Post subject: Tefl degree Reply with quote

Somebody once told me that there was a degree available in ... TEFL.

I almost died laughing. Just IMAGINE the type of losers that would be applying to do that one!
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject: Re: Dodgy? Reply with quote

grahamb wrote:
Neither of the articles cited supports slapntickle's claims about "useless degrees" or "dodgy courses."


I wasn't attempting to support the claims of the OP regarding useless degrees, but was rather attempting to show that this issue is related to ESL. It would be much easier to find lots of evidence online to support the fact that many of the degrees offered by universities today are a waste or time and money and will not lead to a decent job. The media like to demonstrate how a degree can boost your earnings, but the truth is that the relationship is spurious to say the least. While I agree that a degree from a good university like Oxford carries its weight in gold, other degrees from lesser-known schools are becoming worthless. It's common sense really: If thousands of schools are graduating thousands of students year in and year out then the degree loses its 'scarcity value' and hence its market value. There is a glut in many countries of students with degrees and employers are having a job of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Our universities have become paper mills, churning out students who lack skills and have worthless degrees, but feel they have come of age because their degree sits framed on the wall for all to observe. Big deal.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/higher/are-degrees-worth-the-paper-theyre-printed-on-922410.html
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: Dodgy? Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
grahamb wrote:
Neither of the articles cited supports slapntickle's claims about "useless degrees" or "dodgy courses."


I wasn't attempting to support the claims of the OP regarding useless degrees, but was rather attempting to show that this issue is related to ESL.


You might have attempted that but I still don't see a particularly strong connection.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodgy? Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:
You might have attempted that but I still don't see a particularly strong connection.


So what, according to you, should ESL relate to? I teach international students on presessional courses throughout the year. These students are working towards dodgy degrees, some have taken loans, and all are anxious about getting good jobs upon graduation. For these reasons, I would say that my posts are highly relevant and get to the crux of the matter. What is ESL to you? Classroom games and trips to Brighton pier?
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it easy. Your posts are highly relevant and get to the crux of the matter.
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grahamb



Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 1939

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodgy? Reply with quote

slapntickle wrote:
I teach international students on presessional courses throughout the year. These students are working towards dodgy degrees, some have taken loans, and all are anxious about getting good jobs upon graduation. For these reasons, I would say that my posts are highly relevant and get to the crux of the matter.


You still haven't provided any evidence to support your claims about the plight of foreign students, nor have you explained what you mean by "dodgy degrees." There is indeed a glut of graduates, but the current economic situation has greatly reduced the number of job vacancies in the UK and abroad.
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 249

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Dodgy? Reply with quote

grahamb wrote:
You still haven't provided any evidence to support your claims about the plight of foreign students, nor have you explained what you mean by "dodgy degrees."


A dodgy degree is one that has no market value(ie, won't get a student a job) and has not imparted any real skills that the student can use in the real world upon graduation. Clear? Students, whether international or domestic, are being sold an inferior product for an inflated price. Most students do degrees so that they can get the job of their choice. Most students that earn a Ph.d don't want to be working as waiters for the rest of their lives, but the glut in graduates is creating this problem.

http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/03/06/increase-in-masters-and-phds-in-greece/

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28062071

While I concede that the world economy is not in the best of health at the moment, I do think it is wrong that students are being sold degrees that promise high-powered jobs and a comfy middle-class lifestyle. One reason that students from China for example come to the UK is to get a shiny degree from a shiny British university that will give them the edge in the job market when they return home. However, what they are finding is that there are fewer jobs, more competition for those jobs, and that their degree isn't the silver bullet they thought is was when they first set out on their academic journey. Throw students loans and debt into the mix and what you have is a recipe for much youthful angst:

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/fresh-protests-tunisia-erupt-over-unemployment-and-poverty-1253106075
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