Russell Spouts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/feb/04/university-places-traditional-subjects-a-levels

Here we go again – the Guardian is reinforcing the media message that academic is best for everyone, based on a report by the totally unbiased and dis-interested Russell Group – a lobbying group for Oxford, Cambridge and 18 other leading universities.

I particularly enjoyed this bit:

Yesterday Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group admitted that choosing the right subjects at GCSE and A-level was “crucial to whether a teenager maximised or reduced their opportunities and life chances”.

In other words, the only way you will ever be successful in life is if you go to a top university and become an academic?

(The report) gives media studies, art and design, photography and business studies as examples of “soft” subjects and states that they are “vocational or  have a practical bias”. “If you plan to take more than one perceived ‘soft’ subject, some caution may be needed,” the guidebook warns.

Yes – you had better be careful or you might end up getting a job in something you are actually good at and find interesting!

3 comments on “Russell Spouts

  1. I’m not sure you can say the Guardian is ‘reinforcing a media message that academic is best for everyone’: surely it is allowed to report the news about the Russell Group without being accused of reinforcing what the Russell Group says…? Now if it had been the Times, however…

  2. I think I agree these are just stories of what the Russell Group are saying, or “Admitting” as the Guardian puts it.

    The fact that academic subjects statistically give better long-term jobs and pay-scales may be true for life as we know it here in this type of society. But what if things change as they may well have to in the not to distant future as we adjust away from corporate greed, profit making and personal gain into a world that shares, recycles, conserves resources and comes to terms with the fact that maybe the ‘Good Life’ is what may be wanted or needed?

    In any case, or after all, not everyone can be in top jobs, there has to be a balance across society and recompense for one’s efforts needs balancing out more fairly across the intellectual divide. If everyone is trained ‘academically’ who’ll be left to get on with the ‘practical’ things that need to be done or are we all destined to be managers and directors of each other in an ever increasing spiral of madness whilst not coming to terms with what real life is about, or not knowing how to exist without all the current trappings of 20-21st century life. i.e. How many of us could actually provide, exist or survive if the infrastructure we’ve built crashed down and we had to find/create our own food, warmth and clothing?

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