July 2024

Students, don’t get screwed by polytechnics pretending to be universities

One of Blair’s many vacuous promises was to increase the number of people graduating from Britain’s universities. He did this by allowing every third-rate  and fourth-rate polytechnic and further education college to apply for, and usually get, university status. Poly teachers were delighted – becoming a university overnight gave them massive pay rises and lots of extra jobs as they extended one-year and two-year poly courses into three-year supposedly “degree-level” courses. For example, I am informed by journalists on my local paper that students taking a three-year university course in journalism follow almost exactly the same syllabus as they did when they took their 40-week journalism course at the local poly.

As with most of Blair’s worthless policies, this has proved to be a disaster – now that university fees have been hugely increased, many students find they are paying for three extremely expensive years tuition to get what is basically a one-year poly diploma. What universities should be doing is of course cutting many three-year former poly courses back to two or even one year. But this won’t happen because greedy, lazy poly teachers would lose status and even jobs.

The only people who can cause change are students. So, as your lecturers threaten yet again to strike over their incredibly generous pensions, look at them and ask yourself  ‘am I really getting a valuable three-year degree or are my lecturers just poly teachers pretending to be university lecturers?’ If so, then take action, demand a reduction in fees, blockade your campus, buycott classes – don’t let yourselves be screwed by greedy poly teachers pretending to be what they are not.

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