Jump to content

Government Consulation On Education Provision


Recommended Posts

I'm not liking some of the questions in this document:

 

"Suggest up to 3 higher education courses that are most relevant to the Manx economy

Suggest up to 3 higher education courses that have litle or no relevance to the Manx economy"

 

and

 

"Choose from the following (on a scale of Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree):

 

HE courses that would help to meet the Island's skills shortages should be prioritised so that they are funded first, funded in full or even incentivised in some way.

 

HE courses with little or no immediate or obvious relevance to the Manx economy should be given a lower priority or only partially funded.

 

Students should be required to achieve higher grades to secure DEC funding for degrees with little or no immediate or obvious relevance to the Manx economy."

 

If you want to have your say here's the link: http://www.gov.im/ConsultationDetail.gov?id=240

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 111
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

That's a consultation designed to get a response that confirms the prejudice of the minister.

 

Follow this through to it's logical conclusion and we have civil servants educated no further than GCSE deciding if a course is valid or not. So every course with Management in the title will be rubber stamped and all ologys rejected. We'll end up with an Island of consultants babbling management speak.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a little matter of cutting ones coat according to the cloth. We have a VERY limited amount of money, arguably none at all, that can be made available for anything beyond education to GCSE level, even then it's a cost that is not being offset by exports.

 

In my opinion any courses that are to be subsidised in any way from the Public Purse should be those that will benefit our island, and in addition one of the terms of such subsidy should be a legally binding commitment of those getting any cash to work on our island for a number of years, or to repay what is made available to them if they chose not to.

 

I understand that parents with kids who meet the entry requirements for university will feel that their kids are being let down but WE CAN'T AFFORD TO KEEP PAYING. Look at it as one of the disadvantages of not being a part of the UK and with a GROSS economy that is in deep trouble.

 

Maybe we could have a scheme whereby only the top 5% of achievers each year are even considered for subsidised courses and those means tested, maybe we should be willing to provide student loans for the next 10%, the one certainty is that selection of both courses and of students is now going to be essential.

 

It's a changed world. Like a tree in a storm we bend with the wind or snap.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a consultation designed to get a response that confirms the prejudice of the minister.

 

Follow this through to it's logical conclusion and we have civil servants educated no further than GCSE deciding if a course is valid or not.

 

I'm at one with you here Declan, its so transparent its untrue.

 

Spook

 

There's a little matter of cutting ones coat according to the cloth. We have a VERY limited amount of money, arguably none at all, that can be made available for anything beyond education to GCSE level, even then it's a cost that is not being offset by exports
.

 

I come from a generation that never had the chance to get a degree here and then had to compete with degree level new residents for jobs in the economy so I don't think that cost can ever be an issue here if we want local children to have a fair chance of returning and getting a decent job. Its about equiping our students to at least participate on a level playing field with new residents to get jobs in the place where they were born. Its really that simple and you shouldn't put a price on that. Other funding should be cut before we all start deciding which local deserves a fair chance at getting a job here and which does not.

Edited by offshoremanxman
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's all very altruistic to say that 'cost should never be an issue'. But plainly it is.

 

There needs to be a balance struck between an education system which provides for the needs of the economy as well as catering for the 'aspirational' elements of education. Likewise, study in humanities and sciences should not just be dismissed on the basis of likely 'Manx jobs'.

 

And in relation to being on a 'level playing field', Island students at present have to contribute no additional tuition fees, unlike their counterparts in the UK. I would say that puts them on a decent footing to start with.

 

However, I think the HE part of this consultation is not necessarily the most important. There are greater issues with how schools prepare our children for later life, including the 'world of work', which need to be addressed. The fact that we have the 5 public secondary schools capable of acting almost independently, resulting in a different set of opportunites depending on your postcode.

 

A lack of vocational options at certain schools, whilst excellent programmes are in place in others. Access to such courses removed, purely because of the cost of transport. Poor Careers education and plainly failing to prepare those people who are always going to leave the system at 16, for the next phase of their life.

 

Don't get me wrong, schools cannot do everything and parents have a major role to play in the 'life edcuation' bit. But we live in a small place and have the opportunity to offer a truly rounded edcuation experience, sharing skilled resources amongst the schools with access to the College as a centre of excellence for 'Vocational' subjects.

 

For some reason, it isn't happening.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The UK should roll back the mess that has come about by trying to make Poly's and Tech colleges into Universities that are actually Universities in name only.

 

All that has happened is the whole system has been dumbed down from soup to nuts and people are being churned out with useless qualifications in useless subjects and with pointless aspirations. We should realise this and select our brightest and finest and subsidise them to be educated in courses relevant to our needs, or courses that the candidates will pay for when in work that is not on our island and paid for by our resources. The basis for decisions about education, like charity, should start at home.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The UK should roll back the mess that has come about by trying to make Poly's and Tech colleges into Universities that are actually Universities in name only.

 

As much as this crops up, it's something of an old canard.

 

Indeed, a mess was made of the expansion of higher education. However, it wasn't really the fault of the new universities or the mere act of expanding the sector. It was instead the fact that the then Conservative government rapidly expanded the sector without a commensurate increase in funding in the system. As a result, many of the newer universities, which had little to fall back on had to go down the route of taking as many students as they possibly could and were allowed to, just to scrape by, making it harder to provide a decent education, and in many cases offer only the most popular courses (however, they're not alone in doing so, and plenty of older institutions play the same game with regard to student numbers and cutting courses).

 

The obvious, and I would say wrong, response is to take that as justifying the view that HE should never expanded then. However, this ignores the fact that higher education has always been underfunded in the UK and continues to be so. As a proportion of GDP, the UK's funding of universities has traditionally trailed behind most of its competitors (including 'less prosperous' societies) for decades, and even the US spends a significantly higher proportion of its GDP on HE, despite the individual being expected to fund the lion's share of the costs of their course themselves. As such, it's not wholly the new universities who are at fault, but good old fashioned British incompetence, shortsightedness and mismanagement when it comes to public funds.

 

To help dispell this myth, it's worth noting that there are a number of exceptions to the received wisdom that new universities are bad: Hertfordshire has an excellent Physics department, both in terms of teaching and research, and the same can be said of Oxford Brookes' History department. Portsmouth has gained a lot of ground in Applied Mathematics and mathematical modelling, and Plymouth leaves a fair number of its older, more established competitors in its wake when it comes to computer science and civil engineering. Meanwhile, it's worth pointing out that many older and respected institutions are often nothing special when you start looking at individual subjects: Liverpool, Newcastle, and Glasgow don't particularly stand out from the crowd when it comes to mathematics for instance, despite being older and well respected, and it's worth comparing them with Warwick, a 60's university which is now consistently rated in the top five institutions with Oxbridge, Imperial, and Bristol, most often pipping Imperial (indeed, there's even an acronym, COWIB, to reflect the most common ranking).

 

Anyway, the point of all this is that the reality of the situation is so much more complicated than you make it out to be, and if anyone wants a reasonable and well thought out higher education policy, they should maintain caution when allowing civil servants (who rarely have any greater insight into this than the general public, and usually operate on nothing more than received wisdom) to determine what's good and worthwhile solely on the back of some pissy little consultation that was biased from the very start.

 

Finally, it's probably also worth mentioning that of the people I've known who work in higher education, and who've had professional experience of both the older and newer universities, many of them have come to regard the quality of teaching, amount of contact hours and pastoral care as superior in the latter. Of course, this doesn't necessarily hold universally, but it's fair enough as a basic assessment. I know that my undergraduate experience, at a very well respected and well established university bore this out, and indeed one of the lecturers there often warned his students "just because you're going to a good university, don't expect a good education". In terms of 'value for money' what was offered fell far short of the mark, often consisting of little more than apathetic lecturers reading aloud from ten year old notes to a lecture hall stacked to the rafters before making a beeline for the seclusion of their offices.

 

The moral of the story is that often the bestest universities thrive not because they are inherently better, but because of good old fashion selection bias provided by entry requirements, and in no small part can leave students to get on with it because the British degree (which I would contest has always been lacking, not just recently, especially compared to those on the continent) relies an awful lot on bookwork and rote learning.

Edited by VinnieK
Link to post
Share on other sites

We should only expect what we can afford and we can't afford to fund all the potential undergrads. Selection is noe essential. Selection on which courses will be funded and who will be subsidised to attend university. In any case all subsidies should be seen as loans, loans that will have to be repaid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This consutlation seems to demonstrate a narrow mind set.

 

I do not see how it is possible to fairly distinguish what degrees should and should not be financed.

 

While we must economise, this consultation seems to show that cutting costs is consuming a Department which is primarily responsible for the education of our children. Such a proposal takes no recognition of a child's aspirations - who wants to tell their child that they cannot be what they want to be as IOM Government will not support you?

 

As mentioned by others we could end up with a load of accountants, etc, and no jobs to fill.

 

It is hard to draw a line for example:

 

1. Are we going to say we will not finance students to study medicine as while doctors are required we only need a few and the fees are too expensive.

 

2. A degree in drama studies does not benefit the Island but what if that student then undertakes a PGCE, becomes a drama teacher and returns to the Island to inspire the next Sam Barks, Davy Knowles, etc ?

 

In addition limiting student’s opportunity to study when compared with the UK is also likely to dissuade certain indivduals, including Doctors teachers, nurses, to move to the Island if their children could not follow their aspirations.

 

Personally I believe a child's aspiration to become whatever they want to is paramount and provided they reach the required standard , as they have to at present , then they should be supported to study that degree course.

 

There may be scope to vary the required standard, currently two A levels at grade C and it may be possible to specify which further education establishments students can study at, but that is not what the consultation seems to be aiming toward.

Edited by St Patricks Isle
Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a fair point Patrick's Isle.

 

How can a government that trumpets that this is a place where we have freedom to flourish on every e-mail place restrictions on the asperations of our kids. You've freedom to flourish - but only in the fields we tell you. So sorry Frank Kermode no English Lit for you - you'll have to study International Banking Practice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2. A degree in drama studies does not benefit the Island but what if that student then undertakes a PGCE, becomes a drama teacher and returns to the Island to inspire the next Sam Barks, Davy Knowles, etc ?

Hoisted with your own petard there, fella.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We can only afford what we can afford. When it comes down to that decisions get made for you by that fact. Best of all would be to consider only the top 5 - 10 percent of each school year and offer them a loan. Kids aspirations are all well and good but when it's others who have to pay for them things change.

 

At the end of the day it's the parents responisbility to provide for their kids.

Link to post
Share on other sites

2. A degree in drama studies does not benefit the Island but what if that student then undertakes a PGCE, becomes a drama teacher and returns to the Island to inspire the next Sam Barks, Davy Knowles, etc ?

Hoisted with your own petard there, fella.

 

Fair point. I was also going to say who wants to live in an Island full of and run by accountants - oh wait while I check tomorrow's boat timetable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's also a danger here of restricting the Manx Economy. We'll end up with a limited set of skills in the workforce, which will make diversifying the economy difficult. Had we gone down the Teare approach in the 70's we'd have had a lot of Hospitality Management graduates looking for work in the 80's. Meanwhile anyone wishing to study computers would have been dismissed met with "what do you want to wanna study them fer yessir, there's no computers on the Islsnd".

 

Also who's going to set up a business or remain in a management position if their kid's horizons are limited to the coastline of the island and Eddie Teare's concept of what a worthwhile course is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...