Finally, something is being done

Eight universities under investigation for giving students poor quality degrees

All the courses under investigation are business and management degrees,

So, Islington Technical, Fenlands Poly, Sheffield Higher Ed and which other places gave Spud professorships?

16 thoughts on “Finally, something is being done”

  1. Why shouldn’t poor quality students get poor quality degrees? They just need to lower their fees.

  2. “80 per cent of students must progress into their second year of study and 75 per cent of students must graduate. A further 60 per cent of students must progress onto “professional employment or further study” after the conclusion of their degree.”

    A low failure rate implies low standards of assessment. Hence, if the Unis in question – and the list is a lot longer than just 8 – pass too few, then it’s the others that are passing too many, so the criteria for naming and shaming are at fault.

    I also doubt if it is every course in the named Unis.

  3. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    Surely, it’s a choice that students are free to make? Not a big fan of a centralised bureaucracy deciding which degrees are worthy of students myself.

  4. All the courses under investigation are business and management degrees,

    No grievance study courses made the list? Who constructed it, one wonders.

  5. Excavator Man,
    Universities are supposed to vet students before entry to the course for an appropriate level of achievement -“tariffs”.
    So if you accept only those deemed capable and if your teaching is up to scratch, then your failures should be minimal.

    I know there’s a lot of “if” in that conceit…but that’s the idea.

    So your suggestion that low failure indicates poor assessment could be countered by the argument that low failure means effective pre-screening.

  6. allthegoodnamesaretaken

    http://cynicalbastards.com/ubs/

    Welcome to UBS
    The Antithesis of Academic Excellence

    Welcome to the University of Bums on Seats, where we believe that nobody should be exempt from a university education. As Vice Chancellor here for the past 13 months, I have attempted to revolutionise our educational paradigm to ensure a rich diversity of abilities are represented in our student body.

    It is never too late to start your education. Even at this late point in the academic year, we have many vacancies for degree-courses. We pride ourselves on our ‘character-over-qualifications’ admissions policy which ensures that no-one will be rejected on any grounds except non-payment of fees.

    Unlike many conventional universities, our modern, economical approach to teaching is delivered by the latest computerised teaching-aids, graduate assistants, and other budget-conscious methods.

    We particularly welcome applications from overseas students, and we are proud to be one of the very few universities which does not require proficiency in English as a pre-requisite to enrol.

    If you have ever considered investing in your future by gaining the qualifications you may have missed earlier in life, then now is the time to apply. No questions asked.

    We look forward to receiving your tuition fees.

    Prof Alan Dubious (MAd,TOTP,DipSHiT)
    Vice Chancellor

  7. Grievance studies possibly have high pass rates and lots of people going on to do postgraduate grievance studies, so the stats may look excellent.

    Those criteria probably don’t do management courses any favours because that’s one subject where there’s a big gap between the undergrad and postgrad courses – MBAs aren’t usually for the just-graduated and are generally much more expensive than most degrees. I imagine there are a range of low quality courses that look better on the stats just because of the way they’re constructed.

  8. “80 per cent of students must progress into their second year of study and 75 per cent of students must graduate.”

    How might those be achieved? It’s a mystery.

  9. “I also doubt if it is every course in the named Unis.”

    No, probably not.

    What decides if courses are any good is whether they are applied post-qualification. We know if veterinary medicine is good at university or not because Dobbin and Fido die if not. Black studies can be a crock of shit because you’re going to be working in Starbucks with it. And Business might sound like a non-wank degree but who needs a degree to do business? A pamphlet or a short book explaining legal things might be a good idea. The rest isn’t about theory.

    It’s why things like City and Guilds courses often have more value than many degrees – they’re created with industry. Not sure about BTEC today, but my course taught me things like the most popular programming language used by business at the time. “Oh, you’ve learned COBOL? Come in son”.

  10. A one-week business administration course run by the local Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s taught me everything I needed to know about “Business”. Paying for it was the only thing the Job Centre did of any value.

  11. Perhaps the employers of the graduates noticed how poorly educated they were and complained. These are the courses where the end-consumer is an array of businesses that care about the courses for which they (indirectly) pay.

    For grievance studies, just what is the external auditor that would (even could) determine whether the graduate had learned anything useful?

  12. A worthwhile degree, I suggest, involves critical thinking, being able to rebut an argument and suggest an alternative, not just thinking the G says this so I must agree with it. That last criterion outlaws many former BoE advisers and academic economists from being considered worthy of respect. (Mark Carnage, Simon Wrong-Lewis, Dan Davies and everyone at the Guardian) are a few obvious examples. Spud would not understand what I have written

  13. Only eight?
    I have two sons at Russel group universities and I regard the courses they are doing as worthless.

  14. @ philip
    Maybe you’re unlucky? I went to a Russell group university, as did my parents, my sisters, my wife and my elder son: every one of our courses was useful. My younger son’s M.Res. at a decent non-Russell Group university has not yet proved useful but he is still hoping that will help him get a job in the niche at which he was/is aiming.

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