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Dumbing down of Degrees

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Gaidin109, 28 Feb 2010.

  1. californiadream

    Associate

    Joined: 24 Jan 2010

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    I didn't mean in terms of highlighting dumbing down within exams. I think this could only be indicated by getting older people to sit a newer exam and younger students to sit the older one to see what results were like. I was just thinking that in terms of jobs or university choices it didn't really matter if there was a dumbing down.

    In terms of jobs, for an old student employers are likely to be aware of some kind of grade disparity between generations and compensate for this when thinking about hiring. Also, the fact that older students will have job experience will stop younger generations with apparently highly grades from swooping in and taking jobs.

    For younger students any dumbing down should not be seen as a problem as better universities and companies generally look at grades in more detail in terms of the number of a certain grade that you get and the actual marks that you got in a module. I would argue that getting the high grades and mark break downs are still very difficult and comparing new students based on this still makes sure you get the best suited candidates. Some grades in some subjects may be easier to get but students are generally still of the same intelligence as previous generations of students.
     
  2. Gaidin109

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    As an employer, I have to disagree. We find that over the years it has become increasing more difficult to judge a candidates ability by their degree. We have in fact begun an apprenticeship system to combat this. To say that an employer would automatically compenstate for the year in which an exam was taken is problematic. It devalues the level of education as a relevent indicator of the actual ability of the prospective employee.
    As unfair as this sounds, as a company we do not even interview anyone unless their degree comes from a Russell University and even then where we would have considered anyone with a 2.2 and upward five years ago, we no longer consider anyone below a 2.1.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2010
  3. californiadream

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    Definitely agree with this. I think that more apprenticeship schemes would be a better investment than supporting polys and would arguably offer students that didn't want a completely academic route greater skills and employability than a random degree from a poly would offer.
     
  4. KNiVES

    Capodecina

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    Posts: 14,862

    Off topic, but isn't the Telegraph a staunchly Tory paper?
     
  5. californiadream

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    I think that's perfectly fair. Even if grades have been dumbed down the fact that you do this means that you will only get the people with the higher grades in that generation anyway. Even if they may not have got anywhere near the same grades in the exams your generation sat they still represent some pretty intelligent men and women to be accepted into these universities.
     
  6. Gaidin109

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    Which is why I also added an article from the Guardian later in the thread. The article is on the same subject. :D
     
  7. Indy500

    Capodecina

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    Even though some of them were implicated in this grade-fixing?

    We've discussed this before, but let me pose a scenario to you:

    Person 1 is an RUG graduate with solid A-level grades and a 2:1 degree. However they have no industry experience.

    Person 2 is a graduate from a non-RUG university with a 2:1 and lower A-level grades than person 1. However, they also have several years experience in the field prior to taking a degree, and acquired Microsoft MCSE, Cisco CCNA and Comptia A+ qualifications during their study.

    So you're telling me you would ignore person 2 based on the degree alone?
     
  8. regulus

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Aug 2006

    Posts: 9,902

    Location: Wellington, NZ

    I'm also delighted to see that trades is making a strong comeback. Not everybody is cut out for academia but still give it a crack because of the tired adage, no degree = no joy. While I strongly agree a university education is invaluable, I also hasten to add that coming to me with a degree from Banana University in Telford is not likely to get you put forward for a full engineering position, where a 2 year C&G diploma in Structural Engineering would allow me to offer you a 4 year apprenticeship at a fraction of the cost a degree applicant would.
     
  9. OpenToSuggestions

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    Location: Derbyshire

    Agree.

    There is nothing wrong with being a plumber, leccy, chippy etc etc.
    It is real world work, wheras a degree in social psycology is good for......I don't know I am sure some of you will think of a real world use for it (may be).
     
  10. Gaidin109

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    The problem will come when the 'dumbing down' reaches such a level that the degree becomes irrelevent no matter what standard is reached within it. This is what I feel needs attention.

    When the curve of required ability is so low that the actual method of measurement becomes meaningless, this is what is ultimately the end result unless the lowering of standards is not arrested.
     
  11. Gaidin109

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    Of course not. I would if the experience levels were equal. Besides I was talking about an entry position straight from University, which I thought was implied by the context of the thread.

    If I were recruiting from a pool of experience then the level of experience I would require would have to be far more specialized that those examples anyway and we have employees with no formal university education hired on their past experience alone. The example you give is irrelevent to the point I was making tbh.
     
  12. cosmogenesis

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    what interest is that exactly Gaidin but as you ask then yes I did attend University (well it was a polytechnic at the time). As per your last post, those industry qualifications are entry level and how no bearing on the use of supercomputers for undertaking GCM models now would they?
     
  13. regulus

    Sgarrista

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    Location: Wellington, NZ

    Your degree wasn't in Creative Writing and Spelling Technology by any chance?

    Ok, cheap shot.

    What degree did you take?
     
  14. Gaidin109

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    It's interesting as an indicator of the ability of university graduates to put forward an argument in good, understandable english. Which in my opinion is a very basic requirement for any education least of all one at Degree level.
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2010
  15. regulus

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    Location: Wellington, NZ

    ignore
     
    Last edited: 28 Feb 2010
  16. Gaidin109

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    Not really Cosmo, but to clarify my position I was comparing two CV's of equal experience and having to make a decision based on university education alone.
     
  17. Gaidin109

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    I would bet that he will, will you....:D
     
  18. Indy500

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    No, you just launched a complaint about university standards, particularly those of former polytechnics. Nowhere did you say those were trainee positions.

    Which is why I often apply for lower-level positions, to gain that more specialised knowledge in the field. So it is relevant to me.

    You rubbished all non RUG universities. You appear to be doing so out of ignorance, with the assumption that a different type of university makes someone less intelligent regardless of who they were to start with.

    A good two-thirds of my work is self-study outside of the lecture room or labs. I'm not sure what kind of person you want to hire, but I don't recall most CompSci degrees telling you how to configure a Cisco 2500 series router or set up an Active Directory domain.
     
  19. mmj_uk

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    Last edited: 28 Feb 2010
  20. Gaidin109

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    I would have thought that is was apparent I was referring to recruiting based on University degree alone, as such, previous experience would not have been gained.


    I agree that makes sense. Yet if the education system were not being undermined then a prospective employer could have more faith in that system allowing you to apply based on your ability rather than your experience.

    Not at all, it is based on experience. It is not about the individual's intelligence, but the value of the degree to indicate their ability. This is why we created our apprenticeship system to allow for this.

    I would be interested in what University you are attending and what degree you are studying. I am always open to changing our recruitment policies.

    We do base them on our previous experience, and when we have had some employees make some serious mistakes because they lacked basic information that they should have learnt as part of their degree study.

    It was no way intended as an attack on you personally, which is how you seem to have taken it.