Tuesday, July 08, 2008

So very true, my deah...

I am a bit late highlighting it, but I do like this tongue-in-cheek article from Giles Coren in which he urges the banning of public school kids from university as, basically, the public school education is better than what you'd get at university anyway. [Emphasis mine.]
It's not like the banned public schoolboys would be missing out on anything worthwhile. After all, if you have been at an OK public school then you've already had at least five years of living in grand old buildings with good libraries, being taught by teachers who respect your opinions. How much more of that do you need? If you have too much, you end up like Boris Johnson or David Cameron, having to get fat and pretend to be stupid just so people won't be afraid of you.

Indeed. Of course, one of the main reasons why I never finished my course was because I was utterly disillusioned with university; I naively thought that it was a centre of higher learning, where one could propose one's own theories and have them taken seriously (or at least deconstructed in a positive way). After all, I had spent five years at a school in which this happened, so university must simply take it to a higher level, right?

Alas, I was wrong: I found that I appeared to have signed on for another four years of A Level style teaching; "regurgitate what your lecturers tell you," I was told (almost verbatim, as it happens), "and you will pass the exams."

This was never going to work: I have never really been interested in learning merely to pass exams, and my first two years at university didn't teach me anything that I didn't already know. So, I dropped out.

Still, the whole exercise wasn't entirely a pointless waste of time (and, with no fees, it wasn't as ruinously expensive either); had I not been to university, I would never have got involved with the Bedlam Theatre, I would never have started producing shows, I would never have taken up graphic design and I would not have the job that I enjoy so much.

Oh, yes, and the "getting drunk and going to parties, smoking dope and falling out of windows" and, of course, the "shagging" were all immense fun.

Now that people have to pay fees, they take the whole thing rather more seriously, I'm sad to say, especially as degree inflation has ensured that the seriousness with which students take the academic side of university has risen in inverse proportion to the value of the degree that they obtain at the end of it.

1 comment:

Shug Niggurath said...

The problem with 'free' higher education is the same as with 'free' healthcare.

Once it becomes your 'right', then it loses its value, and when it's devalued it worthless.

Now, in the society we have (not the one you or I or others might want) we are all used to these things not actually coming out in a direct debit every month. Worse, we have systems where everyone wins or at least no one loses. Is it really that surprising that it has shifted from excellence to 'passing'?

Socialism has destroyed education in this country and is now in the process of removing liberties and self-reliance because, quite simply, it has been in power too long. Celebrity culture has a blame to take for that, because as soon as the Labour Party lost it's one remaining selling point - Blair - it has descended into the usual chaos that gets them thrown back out.

The Labour Party should never last more than one sitting, because they are economic, cultural and sociological vandals - the only reason we are in this mess is that Blair played a messianic card (which the Brits love for one reason or another).