I confess that I am now a slow reader, but I have just caught up with your editorial in February 2012 issue of PE concerning the government’s response to the Wolf review of schools and universities, and hope you will publish the following brief comments, based upon some 60 years of a "real engineering" career experience in the UK, Europe and elsewhere in a variety of roles:
- The proposals are indeed “well meaning” and “aimed at “much needed simplification of the "academic landscape”, and should be recognised and supported as such.
- They should reduce the grossly disproportionate number of GCSE "vocational" qualifications.
- Such qualifications have long been overvalued – probably for political reasons –and, unfairly, not to the advantage of young people – false hopes.
- Students working for real, meaningful qualifications should consider the ultimate rewards, vs short-term pieces of (GCSE) paper for which industry has little regard.
- Focus upon a reduction of tuition fees for studies and training of positive value to the (UK) economy, together with reduction of debt for successful students, is the obvious route for the UK economy.
- Enough of useless "degrees" in outer Mongolian bagpipe playing, media studies and the like! Let our taxes be spent where they will be most fair and effective!
Chris A Hutchins, Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire