Thursday, 30 June 2011

Politics: Of Higher Education

Reportedly, Labour considers current proposal for higher education reform as a "complete shambles"...

Now, I'm the last one to wholeheartedly embrace every single bit of what (mostly the Conservative part of) government is proposing, but one particular bit of the reform seems like an obvious winner and if Labour are against that bit as well then their whole attitude towards this issue is more about being seen as anti-government then being pro-student. Wow! After this monster of a sentence, here's the bit I particularly like: apparently, the employment track record of various courses is going to be made public. If you ask me, when I was a prospective student, I'd have killed for such information. Surely it is good for prospective students to guide their choice of where to spend their tuition fees by which course gives them the best chance to repay them as quickly as possible? American universities face similar reforms and students are increasingly able to avoid degree mills, which many online graduate schools are considered, and spending their money on degrees that will result in gainful employment. Surely it is also good for universities. Even the bad ones. It might just be the kick up their arse they needed to up their game - or abandon useless courses. What everyone needs is not more universities at any cost, but more graduates who are actually useful to both the economy, and by extension, themselves. And in the somewhat longer run the whole university ecosystem, too. So Labour, pull out the finger and try to come up with something that's actually a reasonable policy and not just "we don't like the evil coalition" moan. Otherwise you'll only preside over a decade of Conservative governments.

And we don't like Maggies offspring, do we now...