Friday, 7 December 2012

Mehaffey wants more students in Londonderry

Dr. James Megaffey, the former Bishop of Derry & Raphoe apparently believes that the Magee Campus of the University of Ulster requires a student population of 10,000. He says that it would be good for the city of Londonderry. In the short term that is probably right, but should we be creating more and more university places? 

There seems to be a notion that everyone should have the benefit (?) of a university education. The exam grading system has been altered over the years so that children aren't actually told that their standard of achievement is woeful. They aren't told that they have failed. That would be bad for their self esteem! How many Universities were there forty years ago? How many are there now? Has the IQ of the population increased exponentially over the the last four decades? I think not. If matters proceed as some would wish, (don't upset the little dears), everyone should be entitled to their PHD's. 

A few years ago I noticed that one of our seats of learning was offering a degree course in Greyhound Studies. Is this really a course that merits a BA or a BSc? I don't doubt but that people entering that industry need  instruction, but is a three year university course the correct way to provide that instruction? For many jobs and vocations apprenticeships and on the job experience must be the correct way forward.

A degree should probably reflect a certain standard of academic achievement but it does not mean that the recipient will necessarily be of any use in our commercial world. Degrees are not and should not be regarded as a be all and end all.

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