The day of everyone’s exam results has arrived. I am sure plenty of them are planning on going to university. I am going myself (again) to Royal Holloway this year to study environmental geology. I might have had some difficulty in getting my degree through interchanging universities, but as a mature student I have experience of living in the real world of work and living through hard times brought on by my mental issues and a prejudiced society that seems only interested in compartmentalising me.
What has brought me to write this is my open criticism of higher education. I may be a university student but I am also strongly vocal about the value of education and what kind of outcome it can have on your life’s destination. I speak of this matter as a millennial in his early 30s who has been through a bad education that tried to convince me that my disability makes me stupid. In doing so I am pointing out the flaws in modern day higher education. It is operating as a cartel of liberal agendas pushing through futile ideas that are giving students no sense of direction and allowing them to treat their schools as an isolated community.
What made me go for a university education was looking for a means to read about a subject that I loved, a means to escape from unemployment and deal with my mental issues. I enrolled as a part time student at the Open University. However due to difficulties at home and a constant number of obstructions from a welfare system I never managed to complete my degree.
After seven years of studying part time I decided to transfer full time. However when I made that transition to a full time student I found that the brick universities were stifling. This was where I was exposed to the liberal agenda and the snowflakes who were compromising intellectuality and creative freedom. However I am not going to go on about my university past again. It’s the advice that I want to share with the university students of today from the experience of an older millennial.
Now universities are often considered to be a tool for social mobility. A weapon of the progressive movement. In some respects that is true, but you no longer need a university degree to get ahead in the world and elevate your standing in society. Thanks to the Thatcher revolution in the 1980s the social barriers between the rich and poor are gone. A council house tenant with ambition can start a business and with his smartness he can make it grow and grow until he earns a million. Most successful entrepreneurs never succeeded well in school. So today’s forms of higher education have got a different agenda. A liberal agenda in which the students are not in university for the purposes of changing the world, but by creating a micro-community that operates like a cult. A cult that can make them useless to the real world.
When I stepped into university full time I found the social aspect of it to be stifling and undemocratic. I was at UEA for five weeks and in that time I experienced social prejudice. One of my room mates asked what I had been doing with my life before university. When I told her that I had been unemployed for most of my twenties she couldn’t accept it. They saw me as an insufferable loser, yet they didn’t have a grasp on reality. They thought they were better off with the carefree lifestyle that they had milking their privileges without any responsibilities.
All modern liberalism seems to be about is inventing ways for the younger generation to exterminate the parasites of their parent’s generation. What they don’t realise is that they are being stupefied into thinking that freedom does not require responsibility. Well if you look at the direction they are going in universities not only are they lacking in creativity, innovation, critical thinking and intellectuality, but they are lacking in direction for their careers.
One thing that universities no longer have is their impetus on social mobility. They no longer have the impact that they used to have on people’s lives all those years ago. In my decision to drop out of UEA I looked at the types of jobs that graduates were going into after their degrees. What I found was something peculiar about their career choices.
According to Prospects a report found a majority of graduates are not in careers directly related to their degrees. This confirms two things, first that there are a lack of jobs in that particular sector, and second the vast majority of university students are actually there for the lifestyle of the society that the school offers rather than invest in a career relating to their degree.
Lets start with some subjects and the jobs that they are likely to take you in. Physics graduates end up working in IT (20.5%), Business and HR (19.2%), Retail and Catering (14.5%). Computer Science graduates are more lucky with their degrees such as IT (60.8%) and Business and HR (6.2%). Civil Engineers have a good job market ready for them with engineering (48.3%) and other professions (23.1%).
The lowest prospects are for those who take the less mentally taxing courses which make up the most students like sociology and fine art. Sociology students with all their intellectual thinking and ideas on gender studies and liberal ideas end up working in retail and catering (20.5%), clerical and secretarial (13.5%) and legal, social and welfare (11.5%). As for fine arts students they have two major areas of work they are likely to go in which is either retail and catering (27.9%) or art, design and media (24.7%).
A student younger than me said that all degrees have got transferable skills but if you study a scientific subject, you should expect to go into a field where a boss will see that your qualifications match the job that he is offering. Some students have told tales that they are having to hide their degrees just to get a job when they can’t get one to do that involves their degree. It’s embarrassing to see someone saddled with a debt that they were made to feel it was worth having and being in a position where they have no means to pay it off. Thank God I went to work in volunteering and taking the time to plan my life before university. If you don’t know what to do with yourself then do it now in your own time before you take the path you are told to think.
There is something that has to be done to fix our perception of higher education. We’ve got to stop treating it like a social weapon for a liberal agenda or a lifestyle choice so that people can avoid the real world. It should be about an establishment to train people for specialized professions. Considering the way the job market is like there are some vocations you can get in life without a fancy qualification.
Do you know why we ended up with student fees in the first place? Because it was to give the universities a means to raise funds for their research and create more spaces for students. Before the fees came into being you were accepted on academic merits to show that you had the potential to show your intellectual abilities. Now universities are making money by selling their courses to students who are more likely to create a liberal cult that works like a micro-community that detaches itself from the real world and devalues a higher education.
We should focus on people’s employability not elevating their class status. Stop making people think that their type of job and schooling determines their intelligence and usefulness. Every worker in this country is valuable whether that person sweeps the floor of the factory or operates the company from the head office. You’d have to be a pig to think that the common man with a van is insignificant next to a graduate with a nice car.