Policymakers are flying the ‘degree in two years’ kite again. How sensible in the context of expanding higher education and growing student debt. Once again I disagree with the unions, though you can see why vested interests would support the status quo. Lose a year’s student fees? Lose a long, student-free summer for research and recuperation?
We could teach a degree course in two years, but can school leavers grow up in this space of time? In reality, the age-to-independence has been growing higher and higher over the last century. From 14 to about 22 and rising.
Take Emma Knight as a case. She impressed me as a highly competent first year student when I started this job early in 2003. She’s now completing her degree having taken a year’s work experience at BMW as part of the course. I now learn from her contribution to our textbook (Exploring Public Relations, p49) that she’d been working in sales for two years before deciding that her future lay in public relations, and that a good education was a positive decision to help her get there. I don’t know what age she is now, but two years in sales, one year at BMW and a three year degree course add up to at least six years since school. She’s good; she’ll go far (remember the name). But she’s come much farther than most school leavers and most students. Two year PR degrees, anyone?