Wow, I'm glad that my university years are behind me after reading about Lord Mandelson'n proposal for two year degree courses. Yes, they may be cost effective but its just another sure sign that too many people in the UK are happy to see the education system continue to be dumbed down. The whole point of univeristy is not only to allow you to study a subject in depth, but also to open your mind and challenge you. Allow you to throw yourself into all sort of activities and experiences and come out a more rounded, well read and world wisely person.
I've previously expressed my concerns on this blog about the standard of education particularly in relation to higher education. Whilst I'm all for allowing more flexbility in the system, I also think we need to go back to basics and ensure that a degree means something more than just a bit of paper as it has become. Otherwise, it makes a whole mockery of the system.
I was extremely fortunate that my degree course lasted four years. Not only did I leave University with a degree in History and Political Science but I also was able to truly enjoy college life and experience a wide range of things: I had been Editor of a magazine, chair of the radio station and heavily involved in the students union as well as a number of other societies. By the time I left, I honestly felt as though I'd devleoped and evolved as a person and felt far more mature and ready for the challenges that the real world would throw at me.
Two year degree courses might work in some subjects but in the majority, it won't. People would be forced then to do a masters, which are often hugely expensive thus meaning yet again a barrier into higher education for the majority of people.
Next year, I will be working on developing some education policies that I think could work in Wales and if anyone's interested in joining such a research project, please get in touch. Something's not working in terms of education at the moment, and there is a huge funding gap. Answers are needed so if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.