Monday, April 10, 2006

Choosing a University or a University choosing you

Points of View - The Herald

I recently had this letter published in the Herald newspaper and again it covers the mess that education is in. Now it's about Universities and their choice of students. Parents are getting their knickers in a twist over the fact that their child is not getting into the uni of their choice despite their offspring getting 5 A's in their higher results.

What do these Higher results tell us about that student? Is it that they are super intelligent and should be offered a place of their choice because that's what they deserve or does it tell us that they have been hothoused through their exams and are able to retain enough knowledge to pass an exam?I believe that in many cases it's the latter. I believe we have to trust the universities to take a look at the proposed student as a whole and not just the exam results. In that case many pupils from state schools will impress more than a privately educated child who's parents have paid for tutors as well as their education at school. After speaking to an Oxford Don about this he did confirm this was often the case because of the work ethic of somebody from a state school who has proven they can achieve impressive results in spite of many drawbacks.

This is not the same as my letter which was trying to point out that in the beginning there is no difference between a state or privately educated child. the prejudices that exist are taken from parents on both sides who have either something to prove(state) or because it's being paid for there is a right to whatever University they choose(private).

The truth is neither and the sooner parents can see a level playing field the better. There is no right for anybody to advance to University but those that do have be considered there on merit not privilage.

Some of this may sound simplistic but why is that so wrong? Over complication of issues are often the reason we get ourselves into a mess, keeping it simple is prize philosophy

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