Well, yes SeamusOctober 13, 2010 Tim WorstallEducation10 CommentsBut the flaw in your logic is that most European universities are entirely shit. previousYes, we knew the Joseph Rowntree Trust got this wrongnextYes, another Ritchie report! 10 thoughts on “Well, yes Seamus” dearieme October 13, 2010 at 1:03 pm It does seem odd to me that the changes in British universities are discussed with so little reference to the fact that, from the point of view of EU prospective undergraduates and their student loans, they can shop where they like, but the UK government has no effective means of making them pay back their loans. If you couple that with the fact that Continental students often come from far better school systems (even when Marxists were in charge, they proved far less destructive that the Forces of Progress here) you have the makings of a fine old cock-up pretty much whatever you do. I do have a solution, but I’d expect a huge consulting fee before I explain it. Kay Tie October 13, 2010 at 3:03 pm Most British universities are shit too. judith weingarten October 13, 2010 at 3:21 pm Kay Tie is right, I’m afraid. The time when British universities were “the envy of the world” is gone. There are many good and some excellent universities in northern Europe. You might not even need to learn a foreign language: Holland, for example, is giving more and more courses in English. The same will surely happen in Scandinavia and possibly even Germany, at least in technical subjects. Then what? Tim adds: Then the Dutch, Scands and Germans will be paying through their noses to educate British youth. Sounds fine to me. The Pedant-General October 13, 2010 at 4:01 pm Stopped reading – no in fact i didn’t even start reading. Have you seen the layout of that blog? I mean, seriously, WTF? David Gillies October 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm Friend of mine had some rules of thumb when looking at CVs. Degree from somewhere outside the Russell Group? Shitcanned. Degree title with the word ‘studies’ in it? Hurled into the shitcan. Then throw out 50% of the remainder, because he didn’t want unlucky people working for him. Kay Tie October 13, 2010 at 7:34 pm ” The time when British universities were “the envy of the world” is gone.” The gaming of the system that goes on in HE is eye popping. Collective marking of groups (allocate shit students + 1 good one to group, good one does all the work, they all make the grade) or the prevention of any lecturer from failing foreign students (literally: called up before the faculty dean and persuaded not to issue a “fail”). Overlooking blatant plagiarism (apparently, it’s “cultural” for Chinese and Indian students to pass off the work of others as their own, and any criticism of this cultural norm is tantamount to racism). Most universities have so debauched their qualifications that no employer can rely on them, apart from an elite few universities. As someone who has just hired a couple of recent graduates, I know I went through the CVs discounting all qualifications from British non-elite universities. Very much echo David Gillies remarks. Poor bastard students will be laying down 20 Gs for a piece of worthless toilet paper, even if their degree was a good one and well-taught. They can thank the Darwinist mimickry of the cynical New Labour universities and their bent management. Seamus McCauley October 14, 2010 at 9:18 am Have to go with Kay Tie here and agree that most British ones are too; and if they’re expensive and shit, people are going to take free and shit every time. H October 14, 2010 at 12:15 pm French and German universities suffer from many of the same difficulties as British ones, namely that far too many people are qualified to enter, thanks to grade inflation in A-levels/Baccalaureat/Abitur, leading to overcrowded and underfunded courses, full of unhappy and underperforming students. If anything, the problems are worse in France and Germany, because less of the financial burden falls upon the students themselves, leading to excessive take-up of university places. First year drop-out rates are correspondingly high. David Gillies October 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm Jeez, the plagiarism I saw when I was working in academia was eye-watering. And it went on almost without consequence. I argued for having a couple of students expelled for one particularly egregious example. All that happened was they lost the marks for that particular sub-section of the particular module they were cheating off each other. Otherwise, got off scot-free, with an admonishment not to be so blatant about it next time. The notion of any real, condign punishment for academic fraud (for that was what it was) was resolutely shot down by admin. It would have cost the university two sets of student fees from HM Treasury, you see. So Much For Subtlety October 15, 2010 at 4:46 am I routinely came across plagiarism as well. To the extent that those that did not get caught I just assumed were smarter than my ability to detect it. That is, they all did it. The worst that ever happened was that they had to resubmit that piece of work again. Which was a great motivator to bust a gut working out what was stolen and what was not. Still the European Universities are shit. If you want to do a tutorial with 50 students, a lecture with 250, sure, they are fine. On par with most non-Russel group British Universities. But there is no way that a German student who can go to Oxbridge is going to go to any German university unless it is for non-academic reasons. Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.