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Frank Hovis

Student numbers about to fall off a cliff

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@One percent who works in the field has mentioned this a couple of times but I've not heard it from elsewhere.

There have been local stories on colleges trimming staff and cutting less popular courses, which would support it.

There is also the regular publication of stories showing that a lot of graduates get jobs which don't require a degree, so in the narrow career / finance sense they are a waste of money (though there are many other reasons for doing a degree), and this may be putting people off. Though this is hardly recent news and it hasn't had much effect to date.

So: is this a genuine national phenomena and why?

(Good news if so, Falmouth has become another town I rarely visit because of the number of half cut students loudly walking about at the weekend, and there have been a lot of stories of how student housing is ruining neighbourhoods there).

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Nothing firm Frank but just by talking to people in the sector there seems to be problems. My guess is that the traditional 18-21 undergraduate student numbers by be holding, it is everything else that is suffering. Post grad and professional programs. 

I will report back here when I have more information. I would think though that the cracks will show first in the old polies

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18 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

@One percent who works in the field has mentioned this a couple of times but I've not heard it from elsewhere.

There have been local stories on colleges trimming staff and cutting less popular courses, which would support it.

There is also the regular publication of stories showing that a lot of graduates get jobs which don't require a degree, so in the narrow career / finance sense they are a waste of money (though there are many other reasons for doing a degree), and this may be putting people off. Though this is hardly recent news and it hasn't had much effect to date.

So: is this a genuine national phenomena and why?

(Good news if so, Falmouth has become another town I rarely visit because of the number of half cut students loudly walking about at the weekend, and there have been a lot of stories of how student housing is ruining neighbourhoods there).

 

8 minutes ago, One percent said:

Nothing firm Frank but just by talking to people in the sector there seems to be problems. My guess is that the traditional 18-21 undergraduate student numbers by be holding, it is everything else that is suffering. Post grad and professional programs. 

I will report back here when I have more information. I would think though that the cracks will show first in the old polies

Yes and Yes

Student numbers falling due to demographics and realisations. It needed to happen and it will be better for society and for my discipline for sure; it'll cut a load of dross from the bubble of teachers who are trying to be academics.

Not sure what all the new student accommodation will be used for, however

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-39873778

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/union-wants-urgent-meeting-over-plymouth-university-redundancy-plans/story-30299007-detail/story.html

Edited by Hopeful

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12 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

 

Yes and Yes

Student numbers falling due to demographics and realisations. It needed to happen and it will be better for society and for my discipline for sure; it'll cut a load of dross from the bubble of teachers who are trying to be academics.

Not sure what all the new student accommodation will be used for, however

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-39873778

http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/union-wants-urgent-meeting-over-plymouth-university-redundancy-plans/story-30299007-detail/story.html

Interesting to have my very insignificant anecdotal data confirmed. 

I wonder what will happen to all these young people. Vocational education has been hollowed out to the point that it is a complete and utter waste of time. 

The youth unemployment figures are about to shoot up significantly too if not hidden 

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Just now, One percent said:

Interesting to have my very insignificant anecdotal data confirmed. 

I wonder what will happen to all these young people. Vocational education has been hollowed out to the point that it is a complete and utter waste of time. 

The youth unemployment figures are about to shoot up significantly too if not hidden 

It's only a 10% cut at Plymouth Poly, the sort of thing a lot of cos. do when they cease expanding rather than actually retrenching.

There has been a more concerted pushing of apprenticeships but there still don't seem to be many about.

I always take notice of whispers from the coalface of change; though it could just be that they've stopped growing / fallen slightly which as @Hopeful notes will be a disaster for the speculative builders of yet more student accommodation.  Shame B|

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The demographics have been known for 20 years.

Why did the highly intelligent people who work in education thought it was a good time to double or triple capacity.

It also seems to be the weakest/less desearable places whove spent the most on vanity buildings.

The other factor - younger people sussing out a degree is not a guarantee to a better job was always going to happen.

Of the people i grewcup with, 5 years either side, of the ones who went to Uni, only 40% have a good job connected to their degree. The meme i keep hearing is Xxx went uni and cannot get a job or works in the pub. The dusgust the government and HE system at dumping debt on kids whilst not helping them get a job is getting more commonplace. Ive pointed out that you need a vocational degree and decide what job you are going to do before starting your studies. Its slowly getting some traction.

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3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

It's only a 10% cut at Plymouth Poly, the sort of thing a lot of cos. do when they cease expanding rather than actually retrenching.

There has been a more concerted pushing of apprenticeships but there still don't seem to be many about.

I always take notice of whispers from the coalface of change; though it could just be that they've stopped growing / fallen slightly which as @Hopeful notes will be a disaster for the speculative builders of yet more student accommodation.  Shame 

the So-Called BBC link is interesting. Nearly half of staff are non academic or research. This is a massive problem in education, large numbers of non productive people. What do they do?

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14 minutes ago, One percent said:

Interesting to have my very insignificant anecdotal data confirmed. 

I wonder what will happen to all these young people. Vocational education has been hollowed out to the point that it is a complete and utter waste of time. 

The youth unemployment figures are about to shoot up significantly too if not hidden 

It's going to be interesting for sure. There will be a lot of knock on consequences  in academia that can only be positive IMO, both for youth and academia in my discipline

Using Uni to unaffordably hide youth unemployment (only made affordable by tuition fees, pay your own dole for 3 years) led to a creation of 'Universities', an expansion of teaching positions (and with it a relaxation of recruitment criteria) and employment of lecturers. But Universities 'do research' right? So lecturers that were really appointed  just as 'teachers' were expected to do research so that New Universities could compete with the Old. This led to a relaxation of research standards IMO.

And what do you do with all those graduates ? Well, masters courses have expanded to kick the can further down the road, which also has the bonus that they create poorly educated free pairs of hands for 'research' for academic papers; remember academics need papers.

it's one big cluster fuck.

Edited by Hopeful

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

the So-Called BBC link is interesting. Nearly half of staff are non academic or research. This is a massive problem in education, large numbers of non productive people. What do they do?

Hmmm...

My time in public sector companies sees me divide people into bloody hardworking (front line staff and the back office people who keep the company going), plodders (a lot of the admin staff), and corporate non-jobs (comms, marketing, risk managers).

I see people doing as a full time job roles that I've undertaken elsewhere as twenty days a year incidental parts of my job and wonder how they manage to fill their days.

What a good 30% of these admin staff are doing is very very little indeed.

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4 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

It's going to be interesting for sure. There will be a lot of knock on consequences  in academia that can only be positive IMO, both for youth and academia in my discipline

Using Uni to unaffordably hide youth unemployment (only made affordable by tuition fees, pay your own dole for 3 years) led to a creation of 'Universities', an expansion of teaching positions (and with it a relaxation of recruitment criteria) and employment of lecturers. But Universities 'do research' right? So lecturers that were really appointed  just as 'teachers' were expected to do research so that New Universities could compete with the Old. This led to a relaxation of research standards IMO.

And what do you do with all those graduates ? Well, masters courses have expanded to kick the can further down the road, which also has the bonus that they create poorly educated free pairs of hands for 'research' for academic papers; remember academics need papers.

it's one big cluster fuck.

Yes. It was never sustainable. I don't know what it is like for you but again, anecdotally, there is a massive push to not fail anyone. I run a post grad course and the quality of some applicants from some universities is quite frankly appalling. 

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35 minutes ago, Wahoo said:

Perhaps youngsters are waking up to the fact they're being ripped off?

Open University is the way forward.

The OU fees are pretty much the same as a bricks and mortar universities these days.

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2 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Hmmm...

My time in public sector companies sees me divide people into bloody hardworking (front line staff and the back office people who keep the company going), plodders (a lot of the admin staff), and corporate non-jobs (comms, marketing, risk managers).

I see people doing as a full time job roles that I've undertaken elsewhere as twenty days a year incidental parts of my job and wonder how they manage to fill their days.

What a good 30% of these admin staff are doing is very very little indeed.

Meetings frank. I don't go to them as I don't have the time and when I do I leave wanting to kill someone xD

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4 minutes ago, One percent said:

Yes. It was never sustainable. I don't know what it is like for you but again, anecdotally, there is a massive push to not fail anyone. I run a post grad course and the quality of some applicants from some universities is quite frankly appalling. 

I regularly failed and regularly got slapped for doing so. They all got a degree in the end. I went independent for sanity's sake, I spent 3 years preparing my exit.

Edited by Hopeful

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Just now, Hopeful said:

I regularly failed and regularly got slapped for doing so. They all got a degree in the end. I went Independent for sanity's sake.

I fail students, not been slapped for it yet but every single one who fails puts in a complaint. Guaranteed. This then causes shed loads of work for everyone 

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5 minutes ago, One percent said:

Yes. It was never sustainable. I don't know what it is like for you but again, anecdotally, there is a massive push to not fail anyone. I run a post grad course and the quality of some applicants from some universities is quite frankly appalling. 

Likewise, I routinely interview candidates for our graduate program. Not only are their skills poor (written and verbal communication, numeracy, etc.), but the 'softer' skills are also lacking for people who have had 3-4 years at higher level education.

Edited by Horrified Onlooker
Clarity

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Just now, One percent said:

I fail students, not been slapped for it yet but every single one who fails puts in a complaint. Guaranteed. This then causes shed loads of work for everyone 

Everyone I failed resat their final exam during the summer recess. Funnily enough I was never asked to set a resit question.

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2 minutes ago, Hopeful said:

Everyone I failed resat their final exam during the summer recess. Funnily enough I was never asked to set a resit question.

Yes that seems to be how it's managed and then you get labelled as the awkward bastard who has not moved with the times. 9_9

what a bloody mess. It will take years to unpick, if it is even possible 

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2 minutes ago, One percent said:

I fail students, not been slapped for it yet but every single one who fails puts in a complaint. Guaranteed. This then causes shed loads of work for everyone 

A mate at college got his ?first girlfriend about three months before his finals. They were very "into" each other and on an evening out would always disappear off for half an hour.

She was IIRC a first year so it mattered less for her; he was so infatuated that he did absolutely zero work and probably broke some records with his exam scores.

The University refused him any class of degree; special, ordinary whatever.

His parents were both lawyers. They wrote letters saying that his college and department had a duty of care to have noticed that he had stopped working and do something about it. As they hadn't then they would be suing them for the damage done to his career.

The Uni gave him an ordinary degree to avoid the hassle.

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Yes it is a bloody mess and a monster whose tentacles have reached far and wide and yes it will take years to unpick and aspects of it's legacy will persist for a long time.

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

A mate at college got his ?first girlfriend about three months before his finals. They were very "into" each other and on an evening out would always disappear off for half an hour.

She was IIRC a first year so it mattered less for her; he was so infatuated that he did absolutely zero work and probably broke some records with his exam scores.

The University refused him any class of degree; special, ordinary whatever.

His parents were both lawyers. They wrote letters saying that his college and department had a duty of care to have noticed that he had stopped working and do something about it. As they hadn't then they would be suing them for the damage done to his career.

The Uni gave him an ordinary degree to avoid the hassle.

This is one of the problems. They lawyer up and blame everyone but themselves. You didn't support me or didn't recognise my disability (which they never bothered to bring up before) are the two favourite ones. 

 

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Just now, One percent said:

This is one of the problems. They lawyer up and blame everyone but themselves. You didn't support me or didn't recognise my disability (which they never bothered to bring up before) are the two favourite ones. 

And the college will cave in every time because they have an eye on the bottom line and don't wish to be known as the college that fails people because then student numbers will drop off. Like A Level exam boards stealthily making their exams easier than their competitors so teachers enter their pupils with them.

To be fair to my mate he had got seconds in the previous two years so it wasn't that he was incapable of passing the degree and his tutor really should have picked up upon it.  Though I'd have thought the fairest response would have been allowing him to retake his third year and get a decent degree on merit.

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20 minutes ago, Horrified Onlooker said:

Likewise, I routinely interview candidates for our graduate program. Not only are their skills poor (written and verbal communication, numeracy, etc.), but the 'softer' skills are also lacking for people who have had 3-4 years at higher level education.

What do you expect?

They spend all their time in education, with only their year group.

Few work parttime, so dont meet wider age groups or deal with any practical problems.

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