Twitter Facebook

DOES A UNIVERSITY DEGREE DEFINE YOUR FUTURE?

<< Back to the blog
  • By Webmaster
  • 20 February, 2017

In the current political climate of fees must fall and the plea for free higher education, the discourses about university education are taking many forms. "Everyone should go to university it is our constitutional right," "vocational training is inferior to university education," "university degrees do not prepare students sufficiently for the world of work", "private higher education is more expensive than public higher education", etc.

With the emphasis on what is happening with our universities today, new questions are rightfully asked about the role of higher education in South Africa and there seems little agreement on this role. Realising on the one hand the long walk for freedom and for quality education in South Africa, I would like to acknowledge the existence of multiple intelligence that requires different kinds of qualifications and institutional types. Therefore, no qualification should be viewed as inferior to another, as they serve different needs and aspirations of not only individuals but also workplaces. I would like to apply the same argument to the different kinds of education institutions that exist and be respectful to what each of them have to offer in developing a country's skills and human capacity.

Having worked in a university setting for decades, I have witnessed the results of the assumption that you are a "less than stellar" human being if you dont have a university degree.  Funded by parents who themselves are struggling financially or even with part time jobs, I know that the majority of our students are struggling financially beyond their means. And yet, the bigger question for me is whether all students should go to university and enrol for a degree.

I am not arguing that university education should be reserved for only a few "intelligent" students and for the "wealthy" ones only: what I am arguing is that we should critically examine the role of various kinds of qualifications and training models. The notion of multiple intelligence should be supported by the right kinds of education and qualifications. People with mechanical and technical abilities should not be in an environment that calls for them to succeed at subjects they find strange to the way they use their kind of intelligence and capabilities.  By telling students and their parents that a lack of a university degree makes them less educated and that they will subsequently be less successful in life, we are dishonouring young people who would be well able to succeed in life if they could find the right educational institution to study with be it a technical college, a University of Technology, or the traditional University or College; regardless of the mode of delivery. Thus, education must be personalised to the minds and capabilities of those who need it.  One size does not fit all.  It never did and it never will. The sooner we get over the notion that only a higher education degree is of worth, the better. Therefore, degrees (only) must fall!

"The university [degree] is dead; long live the university [degrees]" Prof N Lockett, Leeds University Business School

<< Back to the blog
  • By Webmaster
  • 20 February, 2017
SELECT Content_Tags.Word_STRING, COUNT(*) AS counter FROM Catalog, Content_Tags, Content WHERE Catalog.Item_ID = Content_Tags.Item_ID AND Content_Tags.Item_ID = Content.Item_ID AND Content_Tags.Revision_STRING = CONCAT(CONCAT(Content.ContentLanguage_STRING, '/'), Content.ContentVersion_NUM) AND Catalog.ItemStatus_NUM = '0' AND Content.Status_NUM = '4' AND Catalog.Category_ID = '155' GROUP BY Word_STRING ORDER BY counter LIMIT 20

Popular Topics