I don’t know what it is with government ministers and their continuing desire to wreck the education system of this country by dragging down everyone to the lowest common denominator. Not that they actually put it like that of course, they tend to use woolly terms such as inclusive and fairness, whilst forgetting that if you want to get the best out of a system then inclusive and fair don’t go with the territory. What politicians can’t seem to admit is that equality for all doesn’t mean all are equal, simply that everyone has an equal opportunity.
It should also mean that the highest education establishments in the land should remain exclusive, only taking the brightest and best…
Elite universities such as Oxford and Cambridge should expand to prevent the annual scramble for places at the most sought-after institutions, the higher education minister David Willetts has said.
More undergraduate places need to be created at “heavily oversubscribed” universities to enable thousands of bright teenagers to attend, according to David Willetts.
He said vice-chancellors should take advantage of Government reforms designed to give universities in England more freedom to recruit students with the best A-level grades.
Some leading institutions, including Oxbridge, have resisted pressure to expand amid fears over crowded seminars and the cost of subsiding extra students.
But in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Willetts called on the most popular institutions to “find ways in which they can finance growth in the number of undergraduates” to give more young people the “opportunity to go to a prestigious university”.
The fact that they are heavily oversubscribed is actually a good thing, it means they can be picky and choosy about who they take, they can get the very best and produce the next generation of those who will (supposedly) lead the way.
Now unlike a lot of people, I want higher education (at university level) to be only for the very best we can produce and I was never in favour of the idiot New Labour scheme of trying to get 50% of school leavers onto a university course (and saddling them with mountains of debt for the privilege) I still firmly believe that university places should only go to the top 10% of school leavers and that anyone else who wants a higher education can opt for open university or night school. As it is we’ve ended up with some universities having to literally re-educate entrants with the basics of reading, writing and maths before they can do anything else with them. A plethora of pretend degrees hasn’t helped either, flower arranging or The Beatles influences on 70’s pop culture isn’t really anything an employer might be looking for save in very limited circumstances and strikes me as somewhat on the lines of an obsessional hobby. Yes it might prove you can study, but says very little else about you.
We need to get back to elitism in education, where only the best can progress. There needs to be a system where there are winners and losers, not a system with places for all, particularly at the pinnacle of of the system.
David Willetts looks set to condemn yet another generation to the equivalent of a watered down education and this simply cannot go on…