Unintended Consequences

In an attempt to compensate for the broken Brit secondary education system, some universities are cutting entry standards for kids from lousy schools. That will harm the universities and their students.

The 6 universities (my emphasis);

Liverpool, LSE, Newcastle and Warwick have followed the lead of Bristol and Nottingham which have operated schemes encouraging tutors to give lower offers to working class applicants for the past six years…

Advice to tutors says: ” The lower the average performance of the school, the more weight may be given to the candidate whose past examination performance significantly exceeds their school’s average performance.”…

The Government has spent nearly half a billion pounds on grants to universities to help them widen access and support undergraduates from poor backgrounds or with low A-level results, but the proportion of applicants from the lowest social classes went up by just 0.4 per cent last September, from 30.9 per cent to 31.3 per cent.

Consider how that will work on a freshman reading, say, Physics. If he’s from a poor school, his math will be weak and he may have poor analytical and practical skills. So he won’t be able to master Quantum Mechanics without a many months of remedial tuition. Indeed, if he has never developed the intense study skills required for these subjects, he may never gain these competencies.

It follows that any competent mathematician joining one of these 6 universities will be kicking his heels while waiting for the others to catch up – the lower they’ve set the bar, the longer he’ll have to wait. It’s tough for the young to study, so some of these kids will lose their love for the subject.

Finally, the quality of the teaching staff will decline – I can’t imagine the physicists who taught me stooping to teach basic math.

The universities can’t run parallel courses without doubling their tuition staff – impossible in a non-market enterprise.

Finally, since the Brit degree course lasts a fixed 3 years, graduates from these 6 universities will have been been taught at university level for less than that time – maybe only 2 years. That makes their degrees less valuable in the marketplace and degrades the public reputation of these universities.

In summary, the remedial approach of these 6 universities will diminish their reputations, drive away gifted academics, discourage competent students from applying, and turn out low grade graduates.

Such is the punishment for the Brit elite’s war on poor, smart kids.

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7 Responses to Unintended Consequences

  1. […] Unintended Consequences […]

  2. Jay says:

    More Brit school innovations:

    “Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed

    “It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=445979&in_page_id=1770&ito=newsnow

  3. Jay

    This looks like an April Fool – I sure hope so!

  4. Legolas says:

    No fooling, yet another turn in the downward spiral: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6517359.stm

  5. Legolas

    I still think it’s an April Fool – the BBC laptop must have the wrong date.

    When he commissioned the report last year, schools minister Lord Adonis said the national curriculum encouraged teachers to choose content “likely to resonate in their multicultural classrooms” – but some found it difficult to do that.

    Lord Adonis? I don’t think so….

  6. Jay says:

    If you think the name is fake, might it be this guy?:

    a United Kingdom Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Education and Skills. He was appointed following the 2005 general election.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Adonis

  7. Jay & Legolas

    You’re both right, I was wrong.

    An entity named Lord Adonis really does exist – it goes by the even more improbable title of Baron Adonis of Camden Town.

    Will drill into what exactly “multicultural resonance” is to tomorrow.

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