Poor UK education standards

But what about things like consultancy dress? The university had it's own limited company to sell consultancy services and publications, and I believe it was dominated by the STEM fields, and the business school. There were a lot of industrial partnerships.
Like everything in business, faculties make an internal pitch and win the funds to invest in profit generating business. There are always competing demands for cash and cash is limited. But I don’t think that’s what happened at all. Far more likely in the woke space that is a University, engineering got dropped before it didn’t fit the political agenda of the chancellorship.

I’m an engineering graduate of King’s College, London, a college founded with three Divisions (King’s terminology); Engineering, Medicine and Law with a dose of god bothering on top. I believe it was the first academic institution to teach civil (as in non military) engineering in Britain. It too no longer teaches engineering. Too expensive and not enough students.

As for Blair, the promise of university education for half of the population.
 

Yokel

LE
I was a student before Woke was a thing, so the then Vice Chancellor saw the future from a balance sheet. The same university continues to teach many aspects of engineering and all the sciences, and medicine/nursing/etc. They have been involved in internationally recognised work, and were named in the Maritime 2050 document.

That Vice Chancellor left, but the Engineers and Scientists are still there.
 

HE117

LE
A lot of the issues with the modern universities is the funnelling of funds into staff research activity. The problem comes where you get a hierarchy that wants to raise its academic profile, so takes on staff with supposed research profiles. So what happens is that you are forced by HR to only consider PhDs to fill staff appointments, replacing those who have actual practical industry experience..

The result is that you end up with baby PhDs, most of whom are on the autistic spectrum and who are terrified of students. All they want to do is hide somewhere and apply for research funding, which they almost never get because they are simply not good enough or have an existing research profile. The last thing they want to do is teach.. so this gets dumped on the remaining old & bold who get overloaded and take early retirement...

The system is well and truly screwed... most Masters courses are full of marginally capable overseas students who need an MSc because of grade inflation at home, and the vast majority of PhDs are social psychopaths who have never ventured out of the education bubble..

What is really worrying is that the FE colleges are now withdrawing from the practical game, mainly because the H&S and insurance liability costs are simply not covered by the income streams..

...not with a bang, but with a whimper!
 

Yokel

LE
A lot of the issues with the modern universities is the funnelling of funds into staff research activity. The problem comes where you get a hierarchy that wants to raise its academic profile, so takes on staff with supposed research profiles. So what happens is that you are forced by HR to only consider PhDs to fill staff appointments, replacing those who have actual practical industry experience..

The result is that you end up with baby PhDs, most of whom are on the autistic spectrum and who are terrified of students. All they want to do is hide somewhere and apply for research funding, which they almost never get because they are simply not good enough or have an existing research profile. The last thing they want to do is teach.. so this gets dumped on the remaining old & bold who get overloaded and take early retirement...

The system is well and truly screwed... most Masters courses are full of marginally capable overseas students who need an MSc because of grade inflation at home, and the vast majority of PhDs are social psychopaths who have never ventured out of the education bubble..

What is really worrying is that the FE colleges are now withdrawing from the practical game, mainly because the H&S and insurance liability costs are simply not covered by the income streams..

...not with a bang, but with a whimper!
All the staff involved in research that I knew were very seasoned Engineers with a great deal of experience, although there were Masters and PhD research students too. As far as I know all the PhDs were done in conjunction with industry or Government departments.

Surely FE colleges are driven by demand, including from local employers?
 
All the staff involved in research that I knew were very seasoned Engineers with a great deal of experience, although there were Masters and PhD research students too. As far as I know all the PhDs were done in conjunction with industry or Government departments.

Surely FE colleges are driven by demand, including from local employers?
269AD724-1DDB-49E2-B5E8-76160CA6E432.jpeg
 

HE117

LE
All the staff involved in research that I knew were very seasoned Engineers with a great deal of experience, although there were Masters and PhD research students too. As far as I know all the PhDs were done in conjunction with industry or Government departments.

Surely FE colleges are driven by demand, including from local employers?
.. it depends very much on location and subject area, but lots of the Old Poly lot have been ditching hard science and engineering for softer (and cheaper..!) alternatives..

As to "research".. it all depends on what you define as "research".. if you have good, established and more importantly commercial or independently funded research and development streams then you are OK, but the whole ESRC thing always struck me as a huge self licking lollipop..

Those outside the guilded circle usually work by robbing the teaching budget...!
 

HCL

Old-Salt
I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has told me that, as a start up entrepreneur, I need a good accountant. No I don’t. I need someone to run my books properly and I need a someone to provide outside eyes on our strategy etc etc.

Accountants look at businesses in retrospect; they document past performance and ensure compliance. I take it as read that they get my tax planning right; that’s what they’re paid for. They are an overhead which contributes little to revenue generation; if tax laws were simple, we wouldn’t need them so much.

Your anecdote has little to do with bean counting and everything to do with business planning. Presented with two opportunities, any business should take the one that generates the greatest shareholder value. The core issue is that the Government regulates universities and the funding model makes it more attractive to teach humanities rather than engineering. Nothing to do with bean counting.
In essence, that part of your sentence agress with him so why are you arguing with him?
 
In essence, that part of your sentence agress with him so why are you arguing with him?
I’m not arguing; it’s a discussion. He’s suggesting that it’s bean counters that make the decisions. It’s not; it’s basic business. You invest your limited resources in the activities that generate the most shareholder value. Nothing to do with accountants.

The fee structure is wrong. It actively encourages universities to chase foreign students and to run lower cost, higher margin arts courses.
 

HCL

Old-Salt
I’m not arguing; it’s a discussion. He’s suggesting that it’s bean counters that make the decisions. It’s not; it’s basic business. You invest your limited resources in the activities that generate the most shareholder value. Nothing to do with accountants.

The fee structure is wrong. It actively encourages universities to chase foreign students and to run lower cost, higher margin arts courses.
That's the nature of the game when you privatise education.
 
.. it depends very much on location and subject area, but lots of the Old Poly lot have been ditching hard science and engineering for softer (and cheaper..!) alternatives..

As to "research".. it all depends on what you define as "research".. if you have good, established and more importantly commercial or independently funded research and development streams then you are OK, but the whole ESRC thing always struck me as a huge self licking lollipop..

Those outside the guilded circle usually work by robbing the teaching budget...!
To be fair, some did or manage to do OK - look at Nottingham Trent for example, I think their research income is something like 50 million a year. Although then again, I also know of one post-92 which has made it's strategy to heavily invest in permanent staff without teaching commitments in order to game the REF and these staff are paid for by student tuition fees!

One thing which puzzles me though, is how generally the research profiles of UK post-92s have not progressed as quickly as new universities in other countries. It's interesting reading the first REF reports from some of the newer universities too, and wondering just what happened when you see some had managed to snag rising stars on their staff rota who are now elsewhere. I wonder if to some extent, UK research has actually been stifled by creation of the RG.
 
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gung_hobo

Old-Salt
2753 above.

There is nothing strange. Standards were stripped right back. Nowadays the little darlings being examined have a lot of sway via open media. 30 years ago nobody cared what they (or I) thought. I look at the exam questions today and laugh. Even seriously right or wrong stuff like maths. Quite simply the standard required today is not what was required 30 years ago.

O Levels definitely required a greater retention of knowledge across a wider range (and I am talking just within subject not between them), A levels already needed one to question what one was taught. At university, I sadly got almost total amnesia (I didn't recognize my mother) due to an accident. It is a bit tricky to walk into random lectures and to have no idea what was being taught or by whom, or any recollection of what was presented. By fluke, at that time I had to take some very precise exams. A teacher at my school (Mr. Shuttleworth ) agreed to teach me at approx 1st yr Maths degree standard (I had a fluky "O" level). He taught me during the summer holiday, and I passed with amnesia with 98%. When I phoned him to thank him, his only question was "Where did you drop the 2%?" There is little one can say in gratitude to such a person other than "Thank you".

I look at the "younger generation" and other than the private school people, I see very little to commend them as they seem to have no or little ability to show understanding of causation, and little ability to discuss let alone debate a point of view. Plenty of opinions but little understanding.

Of course I could be wrong.

GH
 

HE117

LE
To be fair, some did or manage to do OK - look at Nottingham Trent for example, I think their research income is something like 50 million a year. Although then again, I also know of one post-92 which has made it's strategy to heavily invest in permanent staff without teaching commitments in order to game the REF and these staff are paid for by student tuition fees!

One thing which puzzles me though, is how generally the research profiles of UK post-92s have not progressed as quickly as new universities in other countries. It's interesting reading the first REF reports from some of the newer universities too, and wondering just what happened when you see some had managed to snag rising stars on their staff rota who are now elsewhere. I wonder if to some extent, UK research has actually been stifled by creation of the RG.
I would think..

1. Better overseas funding.. we have stretched the UK budget far too thinly with too much wacky bluesky!
2. We tend to get the second or even third line quality.. the best go to the established players, the second stringers are tending to go back home, and the p-92s get the third quality...
 
I look at the "younger generation" and other than the private school people, I see very little to commend them as they seem to have no or little ability to show understanding of causation, and little ability to discuss let alone debate a point of view. Plenty of opinions but little understanding.
My question would be where are you meeting these young people and how are the private school kids so different?

From my little experience of the private teaching sector (in one of the most desirable UK boarding schools) they didn't seem to do anything that was very different to us plebs in the state sector. Apart from the massive difference in funding obviously.
 

gung_hobo

Old-Salt
My wife is a teacher with a gift for bringing on those with learning or behavioural problems. I am in awe of this ability. However, I was talking about the (to my mind) appalling reduction in absolute standards in favour of moveable standards. Very simply (and I am really not a mathematician, my knowledge at A level plus standard is a surprise), and my ability to talk dates and describe what happened and why for purely history seems to be well inexcess of what is required now. To be fair it is difficult to compare like for like but I still have not met a person with a recent qualification who has the slightest idea and can explain them, regarding subjects they have apparently covered AND more importantly how they relate to what is now going on. To my mind they seem to have no idea whatsoever.

If you feel differently then please do let me know.

GH
 
My wife is a teacher with a gift for bringing on those with learning or behavioural problems. I am in awe of this ability. However, I was talking about the (to my mind) appalling reduction in absolute standards in favour of moveable standards. Very simply (and I am really not a mathematician, my knowledge at A level plus standard is a surprise), and my ability to talk dates and describe what happened and why for purely history seems to be well inexcess of what is required now. To be fair it is difficult to compare like for like but I still have not met a person with a recent qualification who has the slightest idea and can explain them, regarding subjects they have apparently covered AND more importantly how they relate to what is now going on. To my mind they seem to have no idea whatsoever.

If you feel differently then please do let me know.
IF you could rewrite that paragraph in English it might help.
 

HE117

LE
My question would be where are you meeting these young people and how are the private school kids so different?

From my little experience of the private teaching sector (in one of the most desirable UK boarding schools) they didn't seem to do anything that was very different to us plebs in the state sector. Apart from the massive difference in funding obviously.
I think the main difference is the ability of the private sector to be more selective and to group and stream individuals. The state sector has a habit of forcing mixed ability teaching, which inevitably comes down to dealing with the lowest common denominator and the Lauren Coopers of this world..

The other factor that lies behind the private teaching sector is the critical support of parents.. there is always the idiot rich, but a significant element of the intake is from the educationally supportive parents who decide to pony up for the teaching of their kids, often at great personal sacrifice...
 

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