Thursday, February 21, 2008

University dropout steady at 22%

"An £800m drive to reduce the number of university dropouts has had virtually no effect, according to a report from a committee of MPs. The proportion of students who fail to complete their degree has remained at 22% for five years, it reveals.

Universities are getting larger and 'can be impersonal', and fail to provide individual tutors to support students through their degrees, the public accounts committee said.

Instead of improving support for students, some universities are recruiting more students so that they don't end up out of pocket when those who drop out take their funding with them, it said."

Strange logic, huh? You are given more money to help support students and improve retention rates. But... you decide... "Nah... let's not do that. Let's get in more students! TA DA!!!!!!!!... oh... it didn't work... whoops!"

Don't you love the drive to manipulate figures so that they look 'good' rather than dealing with the actual problems? It's not just education which does this, but seriously... haven't they forgotten somewhere along the long that they're meant to be *educating people* not superficially tarting about with figures so they appear to be better than they really are?! So much of elearning is done because it can, rather than because it should or in the way it should. "We have an ability to do elearning. So, we don't know what we're doing and we don't get great completion rates, ermmm... and the students aren't massively engaged, but we are doing it! Great, huh?"

Grrrrr to this kind of thing! It's so much harder to look at the system in which things operate and make critical judgements on effectiveness / standards than it is to churn out meaningless statistics and have a 'presence' that means nothing...

So many rants, so little time. :o)

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