The future of British science.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Apr 25, 2007.

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    There is a 'Chinese task' in the atricle. It is not really too difficult.
  2. The comparison between the entry test for a Chinese uni and the 1st year UG performance test for a Brit one made for interesting (read, depressing) comparison. Mind you , PRC has been pumping massive amounts of money into the HE sector and has ca.300 unis of international standing and just shy of 1000 degree awarding bodies all told (source: UK NARIC on behalf of DfES).

    Also worrying was the linked article that more schools are encouraging students to drop maths after O level as it was "too difficult". Can't have a nasty dip in the league table ranking after all.

    Hey ho. Why would we need scientists or engineers, after all, when we can all make millions appearing on reality TV.
  3. Education, Education, Education.

    Tony Blair 1997.
  4. I find that hard to believe, its certainly not comparing apples with apples.

    Firstly, even engineering degrees often do not require that the individual has taken a-level maths. The test is there only to get a basic understanding of the students capabilities. The course will teach you all the maths you need.

    second, Having worked in china there are a few related 'facts'. Degree educated (Chinese) engineer asks "what is that?" ... "Its a spanner!" ... "What is it for?" I sh1t you not. Their knowledge is all theory. They have little (NO?) practical skills when the leave Uni. so they have a very long way to go.


    edited to add, I am certainly not saying that our education system is in any way acceptable. Needs improving on every level.
  5. The litmus test of the status of any University is how easily its graduates can get into Postgraduate study elsewhere. Their top 300 Chinese Unis produce graduates capable of getting into any UK institution on a Masters programme. Unfortunately, this isn't necessarily a guarantee that they will have life skills as Ski noted. These graduates will have been academically hothoused from Primary School because of the intense competition for places and they probably won't have had to deal with 'real' work at any stage.

    Chinese Unis vary enormously in quality, from world class ones like Fudan or Tsinghua to provincial efforts that would barely scrape equivalence with a 6th Form college. The quality of teaching also varies from province to province depending on how "old school" the provincial authorities are and how much they interfere in appointments and syllabuses.

    Cultural differences also make a big difference: the last 'International Student Barometer Survey' showed that student from Chinese and Chinese-influenced cultural backgrounds (including Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia) were far more likely to think of the lecturer as an unquestioned authority and their role as to passively absorb what they're taught. Two common complaints from teaching staff are the high levels of unintended plagiarism this causes and the difficulty encountered in getting Chinese students to critically evaluate information and come to their own conclusions. On the plus side, if they can get over these hurdles, the determination and work-ethic they've developed usually put them on the good part of the statistical curve.

    The system seems to work for them, though. They have always had a class of thinker-types deciding the 'what' and the 'how' and various lower strata of hands on types actually wielding the tools. Strange by our lights, but it seems to work. I certainly wouldn't want to bet on their not achieving what they set out to do as a nation.
  6. The ex ms_matelot did Civil Engineering at Uni and there were a shedload of Chinese on her course.

    She got a 2:1 despite some shocking inabilities to get basic maths right (btw, what is it with British schools letting their students using calculators for everything? It makes students lazy and I've found a lot of people can't do sums in their head-it's positively discouraged in schools in Ireland).

    The only students to get a First in their degrees were the Chinese students on her course and the majority of them cheated like fcuk throughout the entire course.

    But why do Engineering etc when you can degrees like the following? :roll:

    I know if I were going to go to Uni again instead of joining the RN, I'd be chomping at the bit to do these courses...

    Saying that, I very nearly ended up going to Loughborough to study Sports Science.... :oops:
  7. There's an 'international' student on my current course. Turns up with photocopied A5 sized 'notes' with all the solutions on them, more than likely from fellow national who was a student on a previous course.
  8. There have always been foreign students at British universities. Before the dawn of time, I did an engineering degree and about a third of the class were foreigners, predominantly Malaysians and Norwegians. As is the case today, the foreigners tended to do very well - perhaps because their governments would only pay for their brightest and best to attend foreign universities.

    The dumbed down, maths free engineering degrees are not recognised by the Engineering Council. They can't be used to qualify as a professional, chartered engineer. In my day, the people who take these degrees would have pursued technician level qualifications and they would end up with a good job and a good career. Today, they end up with a worthless 'degree', huge debts and a job in a call centre.
  9. Is the English one a joke? A warmer in the bank?

    I remember doing that kind of problem for GCSE nearly 20 years ago. I seem to remember a 3-4-5 triange being one of the first things taught.