Professor Frank’s Monster

October 21, 2016

This is a postscript to the previous post two days ago about – the enemy within.  The monster that emeritus Professor Frank and his accomplices have created in our further and higher education establishments is modelled on a humanist education and open society that encourages ‘risky behaviour’.  Right on cue today, new guidelines urge universities to take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual violence and harassment with better support for students.  A report by a UUK taskforce addresses the culture that has developed in our universities and their non-involvement approach, which must end;  and instead sets out standards of behaviour that they should promote and accept that they have a duty of care.  Go to >

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The enemy within

October 19, 2016

The latest book by Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, is ‘What’s Happened To The University?’.  His answer is different from the experience of many students.  With the new funding regime and the payment of fees, resulting in massive debt on graduation, students are more discerning and critical of academics and with the quality of tutors and the teaching on offer.  The student view of universities is – they do not care about the individual student and are only interested in tuition fees and rental money for halls of residence.  There seems to be more focus on the social activities available on campus.  Some universities have on-site nightclubs and bars in abundance.  The subsidised alcohol may be a way of damping down criticism and complaints.  Freshers Week is legendary for the excesses of the new students, apparently vomit-buckets have replaced spittoons.  This is hardly the reassurance that the Bank of Mum and Dad need as they question the value of a qualification that does not lead to a well-paid job or even employment.  It is also part of their job to be protective of their children, morally as well as physically.

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Solidarity between the generations

May 2, 2010

Deliverance Day minus 5.  Politics has been described as the art of compromise, reconciling conflicting demands with what is possible and limited resources. Politics is all about having the will to make things happen and about prioritising where resources are to be directed. Like a parent in a toy shop telling their child that they cannot have a toy because they cannot afford it, the money has run out. The choice gets more difficult when the decision is about food to eat or shoes for the kids. It is a situation that millions of parents face each week. In the coming four years more people are going to experience that situation, including people who thought they were well off and secure. It will come as a shock to those young enough not to have experienced the 80s and 90s. But the people who we must feel most for are the young who have done as they were told. Diligent at school, gone to college or university, studied hard, obtained a degree or diploma, and are now looking for a job. They would enjoy a short period of independence before settling down, buying a house on a mortgage and starting a family. It may seem old fashioned but it is still the aspiration of most. The reality is and will be that they leave higher education with a debt and will find it increasingly hard to find permanent paid employment. Without that they will not be able to afford a mortgage, buy a house, marry and start a family. The young are our future and seed corn.

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What Education

April 27, 2010

Deliverance Day minus 10. Children have the right to be educated by his/her parents, who have a prior and fundamental right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. This is enshrined in international law and States have a duty to provide education for children up to the age of fourteen. After that age there is discretion. Implicit in this right of parents to choose is a responsibility on the government to facilitate that choice.  While all the main parties claim to uphold this parental right there has been a trend by both Conservative and Labour governments to impose a more uniform and rigid regime on all schools under their control. The national curriculum has forced schools to conform to structured teaching that leaves little room or time for individuality. Home schooling is frowned on and to be discouraged.

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