Re: Huf Haus on last night's Grand Designs

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is
LOL, such fun.
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wrote:

As far as I am aware reading is not a pre-requisite for writing. It helps, but there's no dependency.
PoP
Sending email to my published email address isn't guaranteed to reach me.
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writes

Don't you mean "typed" rather than "read"
Yo do have problems with the English language don't you
--
geoff

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<snip>
And you left your brain back in year dot !
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Political correctness has nothing to do with it. The country is turning to a high tech economy. The government has to prepare for this. So the other 50%, if it ever gets that high, who do not go to higher education shall be involved in the basic skills we all know and need. That 50% is a lot of people.
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"IMM" wrote | "Andy Hall" wrote | > Also the political correctness of having a target of 50% of the | > population "going to a university". | Political correctness has nothing to do with it. The country is | turning to a high tech economy. The government has to prepare for | this. So the other 50%, if it ever gets that high, who do not go | to higher education shall be involved in the basic skills we all | know and need. That 50% is a lot of people.
But I don't see how someone who gets GCSE Reading and Writing and then spends 3 years reading for BA Sociology With Macrame is being prepared for either a high tech economy or essential basic skills.
Even the traditional skilled manual occupations are becoming much more technical. Most of the construction of that Huf House wasn't what we would traditionally call building, it was precision fabrication and assembly, not the sort of work that can be carried out by the average British gibbon with NVQ Level 1 in Pushing A Wheelbarrow.
Owain
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 17:48:00 -0000, "Owain"

I don't agree. The precision is all in the factory, like Ikea flat-pack furniture. British workers erect skyscrapers and other very complex buildings all the time. That crane driver, for example, had a very responsible job and I thought the cooperation between him and the Germans was excellent.
MM
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wrote:

would
not
with
When he actually got there.
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Neither can I, but that is not the norm.

not
with
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Owain wrote:

Indeed, to raise the standards of Britsh building would be to render huge quantitoes of shovel leaners and weheelbarrow pushres - not t mention temporary traffic signal operators - unemployable, and this rase the specter of mass unemployment again.
I mean, what chance would IMM have at a real job?
No wonder he is Laber to the core...
The real purpose of dumbing down the education system is to produce Votahs whose only chance of anything is as a public servant doing a make believe job and utterly beholden to the taxpayer to stay alive. :-)

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IMM wrote:

I expect that most would agree that any government ought to try and create a framework to support all aspects of the economy not just the high tech economy. However they show no indication whatsoever of having the slightest clue how to do this. Their actions indicate that they are achieving the opposite!
ISTM that political correctness has everything to do with it. The government has decided that it will further their political ambition, and bestow a nice warm fuzzy feeling on the electorate, if they make bold statements to the effect that anyone with the desire to attend and graduate from a university can now do so. They have created a fundamental problem for themselves.
The reality is that only a very small percentage of the population are currently able to graduate from university - 90%+ of the population do not. There may be a few of those who are "excluded" for various reasons, but the hard and inescapable fact is that most do not have the required basic levels of intelligence or ability required to study at a (traditional) university level; let alone graduate. This is especially true in the hard sciences and technical areas so vital for the so called hi-tech economy. This is not a question of "accessibility" or "inclusiveness" or eliminating "elitism" - but simple bell curve statistics - half the people can not have an intelligence equal to the top 5%.
The only way you are going to achieve this stated ambition of 50% to attend university, is if you lower the standards required to enter and graduate. Either by "dumbing down" or by introducing all sorts of non academic courses ("media studies" and the like). This is not only unfair and counter productive for the students who fall for this line, it also devalues the reputation of the universities themselves and their former graduates.
With the current trend for government and media inverted snobbery, they claim the universities are "elitist". Well good - so they should be in the true sense of the word. They should offer the best education to the best and most able students. To do anything else will fail those most able students, and devalue the reputation of those that have graduated before them, as well as the reputation of the university.
If the government could loose its fixation on universities as the only way to achieve further / higher education and training then they would have a much better chance of achieving a useful result for all, without saddling large quantities of the young populas with intolerable debt burdens to meet the ever expanding cost of providing education of a diminishing value.
Is that sufficiently brutal un-PC for you?
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 17:53:24 +0000, John Rumm

Indeed, and in doing so are creating a situation in which not only will it be *more* difficult for those able to benefit from an academic education to have unfettered access to it, but the "faux-university or nothing" approach will continue to erode at the base of exactly those skills needed to build and maintain a high tech economy.

I believe that some Media Studies courses have, in fact, significant academic content, and that MS graduates actually have a surprisingly high success rate in gaining graduate-level employment. Its more damaging, I think, that universities are offering courses in technical subject to which students are admitted with qualifications and capabilities totally unmatched to the subject -- resulting in a "dumbing down" of those courses (since the universities cannot afford to have either high dropout rates or a public perception of numbers failures at degree level). Hence, for example, students being able to gain degrees in "computer scince" that leave them at best equiped to undertake relatively menial tasks in IT infrastructure maintenance or perform first-line tech support in a call centre.

Absolutely -- I fail to understand the obsession of successive governments that there is something *wrong* with being elitist with respect to academic ability and intelligence -- if the same criteria were applied to sport, for example, would we see demands that 50% of the population should be playing for a Premiership football team. Or, in the arts, that 50% of the population should be playing in a major orchestra or be a published novelist ...

Just as wholesale tinkering with the secondary education system led to good grammar schools, once available to all within a local authority area, to go private denying access to all but those able to afford to pay their fees, there is now a good chance that within a generation we will see Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial, Edinburgh, and others removing themselves from the public sector, and setting fee levels comparable with the Ivy League colleges in the US (with which they would then be competing for the able students of the affluent).

Couldn't agree more.
Julian
and for IMM's benefit, you can use the following to save yourself some typing:
<snip drivel>
--
Julian Fowler
julian (at) bellevue-barn (dot) org (dot) uk
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On Fri, 30 Jan 2004 18:16:40 +0000, Julian Fowler

If you look at their fees for non-UK or non-EU students, they are actually very comparable to the Ivy League colleges and others on the west coast with similar academic standing. They are all in the $30-40k per annum range.
.andy
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Julian Fowler wrote:

Indeed. I employed a graduate from an Indian university in electronic engineering.
It ws patently obvious within a day that she had never used a soldering iron in her life.
She ended up more or less as a prodction line rework and test engineer. Nowhere near as qualified as the Hatfield polytechnic sandwich students we had, one of whom is now running a very successful wlectrical installation company.
I have emplyed three o four hatfield poly people. Very well trained practical intelligent people. Infinitely more useful than a comp sci grad.
Thats what we need - peple who know one end of a sldering iron from teh other, who are familiar with industrail standrds and practices, and who have been taught to do practically useful things. Not people burdened down with half understood theory, all of which can be acquired later if ever necessary - who have never done anything of practical use in their lives...

Its a simple matter of teh facts. Rynaiar has laid down te gauntlet vis a vis disabled people. Whaich is preferbale, a disabled guy has to pay 36 quid to use a wheelchair, or everyone pay an extra 50p on their fare?
Fare enuff, I say. It costs money to make special treatment for special people.
One has to balance that with the overall social desirability of having that happen.
We cold require every aircraft landing in teh UK be equpped with sufficient technology as to allow it to be flown by a mentally subnormal paraplegic. Ther are those in the disabled lobby who would contest that any other course is unfair discrimination.
From a certain perspective, they are right.
The COST of so doing tho would simply burden th erest of society with a huge and unacceptable taxaton regime.
I happen to think you are right. It is not POSSIBLE to NOT discriminate on many many grounds against people who for one reason or another are naturally less suited to do certain things than others. Legislation wshold confine itself to making sure thay have SOME opportuniy, not the SAME opprtunity.
In other words, you can't make it fair, so stop wasting money trying. Just concentate on making it better. Whe making it more fair makes it worse - i.e. down to the fantasy level of feeding all intelligent people drugs, and removing the limbs of the able bodied and crippling their spines....yup. That is now FAIR. Its also manifestly WORSE all round.
This current government is on that fantasy track.

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It has everything to do with it.

But it doesn't serve the needs of the economy or the individuals concerned to engineer education such that 50% go to a university by dropping the standards to make that happen.
Devaluing the education system as a whole because of some misplaced notion that some skills are "higher" than others in terms of their value to society doesn't achieve anything. It isn't an issue of higher and lower or one skill being better than another. The important point is matching the education resources to the abilities of the individual.
Skills are rewarded according to supply and demand. Individuals can choose the extent to which financial reward is important to them as well as many other aspects of a career.
Dropping academic standards removes the incentive for those with academic skills to strive for achievement. More and more we are in an international business environment. Fortunately, we still have high standards in some of the universities and they are able to compete with the best in the world in terms of academic achievement. If this deteriorates then we will be in real trouble.

Yes and they are equally deserving of appropriate education and training. .andy
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No proof of this.
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You're saying that dropping standards to admit more people is a good idea?
I've looked at recent GCSE, A level and degree course exam papers. The standard has dropped substantially over the last few years.
.andy
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I said "No proof of this."

No proof of this.
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You don't believe me? I wouldn't be the first person to say this, you know.......

.andy
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The show on C4 (?) a while ago was quite enlightening where it put new school leavers "back to school" to 1950`s standards.
The shock on the faces of the kids when the "hard" exam they took they assumed must have been something akin to A-levels turned out, in fact, to just be the 11+
Elsewhere (uk.legal I think) it was revealed that the pass mark for one particular subject was about 12% IIRC, and about 40% got you an A
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