I want you to imagine a brave new world, a world in which only 10 or 20 per cent of the population go to university and the rest well they work and learn though state organised but partially self-funded work experience. What you say self-funded slavery!
Well of course not the work experience would be paid but a very low wage – the shortfall could be made up through the student taking out a loan for the three years of guaranteed work experience. Each provider would offer different experience but a minimum level of learning time and experience offered.
It is not that I believe in academia, indeed my university years though painful formed me as I am. It is I don’t believe in academia for its own sake. It is beyond wasteful to send people to undertake fruitless degrees, paid for by debts they will never pay back, which they will never need or use in there working life.
Now I concede that allot of people do go to university and end up in a related career and this is a very good thing. The question for me is a simple one, are these skills so complex, so rare that they could only be taught at university and require a cloistered degree program? I Doubt any and I do mean any skill requires such commitment and any company that required the teaching of advance skills could easily partner up with a university (as they do now) and still provide particle work experience.
Of course applying to the scheme would be more complex than the current system and the benefits of each placement and the requirements would differ very radically but in place of hollow generic degrees you would gain three years’ experience and three years teaching in the particle skills needed for your future. Some people will end with degree and some with a minimally guaranteed level of knowledge that could be formalised into some horrible abbreviated award.
As for the providers the government could force all public sector organisations to offer places, as well as any provider to the public sector and for others the state could offer tax breaks, assist in linkages with university, provide human resource assistance and train there future employees for a very minimal outlay. For their part they would guarantee to take on a minimal percentage of trainees and provide a minimal level of skills and experience.