Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Severus

Manchester uni charging £9k tuition fees

143 posts in this topic

Sometimes I wonder if humanities tutors live in the real world. 6 hours lectures a week, 6:1 staff student ratio in tutorials all do they can draw pretty pictures, write a poem or provide commentary on some sociology ######. In science we have a 24:1 staff student ratio, typical 14 hours of contact time and deliver a comprehensive and useful curriculum. I firmly believe that HE should be freely available to those who can do it, if that means cutting the number of humanities places then so be it, as a country we need to focus on what will benefit us most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe I said that identical amounts should be spent on each different degree.

And I didn't claim you did; see, we can both play that game and bore everyone to death in the process.

What you said is that humanities etc won't see much of the additional money - and sciences will get even more shiny facilities etc. Unless you're now willing to to yourself in knots with all sorts of sophistry, you're saying that sciences etc will get most of the extra money that becomes available.

Which makes sense if the cost of running them is greater than the existing funding, and it's significantly hampering how effective those departments are. Unfortunately, scientific and engineering subjects might just be very expensive to teach compared to humanities and languages due to the need for actual physical equipment which is not as important in other fields.

Of course, any academic departments will likely be asking for more money regardless of how much they already get. Such is life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I wonder if humanities tutors live in the real world. 6 hours lectures a week, 6:1 staff student ratio in tutorials all do they can draw pretty pictures, write a poem or provide commentary on some sociology ######. In science we have a 24:1 staff student ratio, typical 14 hours of contact time and deliver a comprehensive and useful curriculum. I firmly believe that HE should be freely available to those who can do it, if that means cutting the number of humanities places then so be it, as a country we need to focus on what will benefit us most.

Careful; you're going down the "higher education is vocational, and hence we should only fund useful courses" route there, and I'm not convinced by that argument at all.

The best way for free HE might well be to fund fewer universities.

But the lower-rep institutes improve access to HE for the non-traditional demographic!, I hear you cry.

Well, if they're charging that demographic then it's not free is it? So what, exactly, is the point of having loads of universities when we could have fewer and everyone is on a scholarship? Less money required, better overall quality. Those who can, do - and they don't have to pay for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points RS. it was pleasing to learn that Keele had a rethink in closing down the Philosophy department. I'm not at all convinced by vocational degrees and want my institution to scale back to what I consider as 'core' disciplines. For example, my department offers 9 pathways in a computing discipline. What is the point in offering so many pathways, why shouldn't it be the generic computing and computer science discipline? We offer 2 mathematics pathways for the same number of cohort. The reason for this is purely marketing. A degree should be about giving the graduate a level of comprehension and understanding (although we are not allowed to use that word) in order to function in the workplace, not just simply telling them how to do their job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good points RS. it was pleasing to learn that Keele had a rethink in closing down the Philosophy department. I'm not at all convinced by vocational degrees and want my institution to scale back to what I consider as 'core' disciplines.

I'm with you on the vocational degrees - people have their entire lives to pursue professional qualifications, and while some probably are suited to a university style environment I'm very unconvinced that fields like database and web programming* etc really need it.

* I have no idea if these are offered anywhere, it was an off-the-cuff example!

For example, my department offers 9 pathways in a computing discipline. What is the point in offering so many pathways, why shouldn't it be the generic computing and computer science discipline? We offer 2 mathematics pathways for the same number of cohort. The reason for this is purely marketing. A degree should be about giving the graduate a level of comprehension and understanding (although we are not allowed to use that word) in order to function in the workplace, not just simply telling them how to do their job.

I totally agree - excepting the workplace aspect, which I fundamentally disagree with. High-level functioning in the workplace should emerge naturally from HE, as from other things, not be the target of it.

Comp sci, to follow your example, should give you the fundamental tools to quickly get up to speed in an applied field. I fail to see what the point would be in teaching people to use, say, Javascript while barely touching the fundamental underpinnings of programming such as discrete maths and calculus, computer architecture, algorithms and data structures etc.

I'm amazed how many people I've met who call themselves programmers but don't know where and why to use linked lists, flat arrays and hashing structures for example. It's barmy.

Edit - I misunderstood your workplace comment and launched into a pompous lecture, sorry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful; you're going down the "higher education is vocational, and hence we should only fund useful courses" route there, and I'm not convinced by that argument at all.

The best way for free HE might well be to fund fewer universities.

But the lower-rep institutes improve access to HE for the non-traditional demographic!, I hear you cry.

Well, if they're charging that demographic then it's not free is it? So what, exactly, is the point of having loads of universities when we could have fewer and everyone is on a scholarship? Less money required, better overall quality. Those who can, do - and they don't have to pay for it.

Can I vote for you please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comp sci, to follow your example, should give you the fundamental tools to quickly get up to speed in an applied field. I fail to see what the point would be in teaching people to use, say, Javascript while barely touching the fundamental underpinnings of programming such as discrete maths and calculus, computer architecture, algorithms and data structures etc.

A HE institution who shall remain nameless are looking reducing the Mathematics content of their Computer Games and Computer Science pathways despite the message from employers who say they want computing graduates to have good Mathematical skills (after all, computing is just applied Maths :P). The reason for this the safeguarding of jobs as they need us colleagues from the Mathematics division to deliver these units.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A HE institution who shall remain nameless are looking reducing the Mathematics content of their Computer Games and Computer Science pathways despite the message from employers who say they want computing graduates to have good Mathematical skills (after all, computing is just applied Maths :P). The reason for this the safeguarding of jobs as they need us colleagues from the Mathematics division to deliver these units.

Link to a PDF file where removing maths from CompSci engineering courses is proposed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairly weak article IMO. It seems to be of the impression that Maths is just pen and paper work and that symbolic packages such as Mathematica (and therefore the excellent Wolfram Alpha) and Maple as well as Minitab and SPSS for Statistics are an adequate replacement. We use these tools in addition traditional methods to help students understand the applications of the theory. Without understanding the processes involved, reliance on software will mean graduates will have large gaps in their knowledge and from talking to employers, this is the exact opposite of what they want in a employee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fairly weak article IMO. It seems to be of the impression that Maths is just pen and paper work and that symbolic packages such as Mathematica (and therefore the excellent Wolfram Alpha) and Maple as well as Minitab and SPSS for Statistics are an adequate replacement. We use these tools in addition traditional methods to help students understand the applications of the theory. Without understanding the processes involved, reliance on software will mean graduates will have large gaps in their knowledge and from talking to employers, this is the exact opposite of what they want in a employee.

I agree entirely. For years that column was written by Bob Colwell and was by far the best regular piece in any IEEE mag, unfortunately since he hung up his boots as a column writer it has gone downhill to the point that it's almost irrelevant as a commentary on computer engineering and science.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree entirely. For years that column was written by Bob Colwell and was by far the best regular piece in any IEEE mag, unfortunately since he hung up his boots as a column writer it has gone downhill to the point that it's almost irrelevant as a commentary on computer engineering and science.

This quote says it all for me:

"Programming languages are classic examples of black-boxes. They incorporate knowledge about computer architecture: memory, registers, machine codes, and all the other aspects of actual physical devices. They allow individuals who know nothing about the inner workings of a computer to utilize knowledge about computing logic and produce useful output."

It also allows you to create disgustingly inefficient programs which waste time and money, because the programmer doesn't understand things like memory and computer architecture. It's actually a good example of why you need to understand those things, even if you have a simplified interface to work with.

The article notes that only a relatively small proportion of people need to be specialists, but that's the point - you don't know who they are going to be, and so at the HE level you need to educate with the assumption that any of the students could be going on to do such things. Anything else is to effectively hamstring the students at an early stage, in my opinion.

Any knowledge involved enough to require black boxing will have subtleties and traps for the unaware; I've seen it myself, in situations where an understanding of what that black box is actually doing could have avoided a hell of a lot of frustration and lost time. You don't shouldn't be giving someone a calculator before they know what addition, subtraction etc are and how they work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want a Rolls Royce and a load of luxury houses all round the world.

Seriously, Leeds Met?

Leeds Carnegie relegated again this year, needs must.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just seen on Twitter from a friend who works there that the wonderful and ancient seat of learning Liverpool John Moores University will be charging £9k from next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be that the poor buggers who do humanities and languages don't really need the amount of money that courses in engineering, sciences (and possibly medicine) do.

I dunno, might be one reason for such a situation.

Cadavers don't come cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I wonder if humanities tutors live in the real world. 6 hours lectures a week, 6:1 staff student ratio in tutorials all do they can draw pretty pictures, write a poem or provide commentary on some sociology ######. In science we have a 24:1 staff student ratio, typical 14 hours of contact time and deliver a comprehensive and useful curriculum. I firmly believe that HE should be freely available to those who can do it, if that means cutting the number of humanities places then so be it, as a country we need to focus on what will benefit us most.

We agree again. Just how many psychology and sociology graduates from the University of Neasden do we need?

Look at this rubbish:

Tourism Management at the 'University' of Gloucestershire

http://www.glos.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/trm/Pages/entry2011.aspx

Football Studies at the 'University' of Bedfordshire

http://www.beds.ac.uk/courses/bysubject/leitouspoman/ba-foostu

Interior Design at Anglia Ruskin 'University'

http://www.anglia.ac.uk/ruskin/en/home/prospectus/ugft/w250.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

True JB. Mathematics is probably the cheapest course to deliver and the most useful. At our place majority of the funding goes to social science [sic] and BA's.

What do they find to spend it on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Careful; you're going down the "higher education is vocational, and hence we should only fund useful courses" route there, and I'm not convinced by that argument at all.

I'd agree with that. There must be some higher education which is non vocational, but there is now too much of this available. Oxbridge produces all the philosophers we need. More of a worry is the courses which appear to be 'vocational' but in fact produce graduates with no prospect of employment.

The best way for free HE might well be to fund fewer universities.

But the lower-rep institutes improve access to HE for the non-traditional demographic!, I hear you cry.

Well, if they're charging that demographic then it's not free is it? So what, exactly, is the point of having loads of universities when we could have fewer and everyone is on a scholarship? Less money required, better overall quality. Those who can, do - and they don't have to pay for it.

Agreed again. Halve the number of university students. If that means closing half the 'Universities' then so be it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do they find to spend it on?

Staff, books, facilities etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Staff, books, facilities etc.

MANCHESTER University plans to shed hundreds of jobs after going £30m into debt.As many as 400 teaching and support posts could be axed.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MANCHESTER University plans to shed hundreds of jobs after going £30m into debt.As many as 400 teaching and support posts could be axed.....

Source?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cadavers don't come cheap.

They usually do, because they are often donated as part of the persons will, but the numbers doing so are very low, such that most anatomy teaching is now done on pre-prepared pro sections and with computer packages. Anyway, anatomy teaching as with most of the basic sciences seems to be less important than some of the touchy feely stuff taught at med school these days, sigh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This quote says it all for me:

"Programming languages are classic examples of black-boxes. They incorporate knowledge about computer architecture: memory, registers, machine codes, and all the other aspects of actual physical devices. They allow individuals who know nothing about the inner workings of a computer to utilize knowledge about computing logic and produce useful output."

It also allows you to create disgustingly inefficient programs which waste time and money, because the programmer doesn't understand things like memory and computer architecture. It's actually a good example of why you need to understand those things, even if you have a simplified interface to work with.

The article notes that only a relatively small proportion of people need to be specialists, but that's the point - you don't know who they are going to be, and so at the HE level you need to educate with the assumption that any of the students could be going on to do such things. Anything else is to effectively hamstring the students at an early stage, in my opinion.

Any knowledge involved enough to require black boxing will have subtleties and traps for the unaware; I've seen it myself, in situations where an understanding of what that black box is actually doing could have avoided a hell of a lot of frustration and lost time. You don't shouldn't be giving someone a calculator before they know what addition, subtraction etc are and how they work.

Most programmers these days won't ever get close to fully utilising the hardware they use - my home PC is quad core, hyperthreaded, 64 bit and with 8GB of RAM. The programming language I wrote for data manipulation and populating the database for the engine I wrote doesn't ever use more than about 100MB of RAM even when processing 10s of millions of records.

A lot of programming languages these days are black boxes - algorithms are built in - I know how to write a linked list (even an AVL balanced list as I use in my compiler) but I have no need to write one in, say, C# as the generic collections in that language and framework do the job. Even compilers can be called from the frameworks now - I am writing a declarative data language using XML and have built the C# compiler into the program so if the declarative language doesn't do everything you want you can embed C# classes into a CDATA section and have them compile into the final program - that feature took me about an hour and maybe 20 lines of code.

I have interviewed people who claim to have a first in computer science from a good university but were unable to describe a simple linked list or memory management - even in these days of garbage collection you can get huge savings from, for example, object reuse. But very few people seem to know that or even be bothered about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



Rugby League World - June 2017

League Express - Mon 17th July 2017