More is worse

In the bright confident morning of the 1960s it was generally accepted that the UK needed to expand its tertiary education. Sadly that shared aim led to a huge expansion in the number of universities – not at all what was envisaged. Professor Paul Buckland was effectively dismissed from Bournemouth University because he refused to give degrees to students who had manifestly failed to reach the minimum standard. In fact the debasement of academic standards is distressingly common. In the top institutions, it consists of handing out more Firsts than are merited. But in the “new” universities resulting from a variety of “educational” establishments, it meant that academic standards have been trashed. Success has been measured not by maintain high standards but by attracting large numbers of “students” who will pay fees. This requires pretendy degrees which simply cheat the students and defraud their employers. It has been hoped that New Labour would ensure standards are maintained but that was a forlorn hope.

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