Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Education in the UK

Dipping into the BBC's website, I drifted towards an article on education which informed me that there is to be a 398 million pounds reduction in government funding, from this years figures, for English universities for 2010-11. Now, it is not really the figures themselves that attracted my attention, for while these figures only reflect cuts in public services generally, at a time when billions are being spent on the war in Afghanistan, it is who announced the cuts that attracted my attention; Business Secretary, Lord Mandleson!

Is it then official? Is education now nothing more than a business? Well, in Lord Mandleson's world no room for the pensive, thougthful, ruminating types that is for sure and we are told that the government also wants more two year degrees. Degrees, which we are told will require "the same amount of work as on a three-year degree but use the summer vacation as extra terms." Now, this could be an opportunity for a mediocre, getting old fart, unpublished, old fart like me. After all, who is going to teach on these courses during the summer? However, I shouldn't be getting my hopes up too much and I am sure they will find enough young PhDs, with no or very few publications and little or absolutely no eperience, to lecture part time in the hope that they might break into the system. Without, of course, thinking too much about the system that they are breaking into. A system where there is certainy no room for critical and creative thinking, where there is no room for those who like to chew the cud, a system that is run by a Business Secretary, who honestly believes that a quality education can be attained in two years. What a joke!

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