Tom Davies of the University of Warwick’s The Boar argues constant examinations are destroying what is important about education:
We live in a world where pragmatism dominates. Does a nurse or an accountant provide more value to society? When faced with a question like this, the idealists among us would question the definition of “value”. By contrast, a pragmatist would revert to the only objective benchmark available and declare that six figures are better than five.It’s a sad indictment on the society we live in that there is a critical deficiency of nurses, but there are 100 applications for every vacancy in the City.
This should come as no surprise given that financial incentives form the backbone of our capitalist economic system. However, it is perhaps surprising that when it comes to the decisions made by young people today regarding education, the same pragmatic rationality prevails.
From a student’s perspective, attending university is no longer seen as a privilege, particularly since education policy has sacrificed quality in favour of quantity. University is perceived as the automatic next step for those in further education, with young people thus failing to consider the true benefits. The resulting excess of graduates means that a degree is now seen by many as a necessity in a job-market saturated by fellow university leavers, a self-perpetuating cycle that devalues higher education for all those involved. As an 18 year old moving away from home for the first time, studying was at the bottom of my, and my peers, list of priorities. Unfortunately, we students often have no concept of the value of education and will do everything our power to minimize our workload, exacerbating the issue…
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