MANIFESTO: The True Value of a University Education

December 7, 2010 at 2:40 am Leave a comment

[This is my old manifesto I stumbled upon the other day.  I wrote this in second year university, clearly pissed at the education system.  My beliefs have since changed, though I wanted to share]

We, the over exerted, under admired, and cognitively developed students have been socialized in a world where education is understood to be the only way to achieve a successful career. Over the past ten or so years of our lives, we have been bombarded with lectures from our parents, friends, relatives and teachers about getting a decent post-secondary education. Education is important (Obviously). It has taught us to read, write, innovate, invent, etc. Than what is wrong with post-secondary education today? To some, there is nothing wrong. But who ever took the time to see how financially strapped families and children think about the expenses behind it? Or even the politics surrounding admissions, its true values, its expanding globalized form, or its heavily changing cult? [Wow, I can’t believe I thought university was a cult]

In common with the increasing number of students attending universities across the country, we have reached a saturation point whereby universities can no longer accept large number of students due to space constraints and lack of government funding. On these terms, and from what I have seen throughout the course of my university education, it is apparent that going away to school is just a fad, or more simply, it is the in thing to do. Westernized education is the repeating trend. It is a style. It is a statement. A university degree will eventually help you in the long run, but it wont necessarily get you anywhere upon graduation, unless of course, you have an oh so cherished MBA, PhD, engineering degree, or something ‘useful’. If you do, than you have correctly chosen the ‘easy’ route to finding work and a successful post-graduate career. In due course, you receive more attention from outside sources, such as leading corporations and businesses because of your apparent job related skills, and eventually land yourself a secure career of your dreams.

The Canadian government has given students the option of going to either College or University. But at times, it can be very hard to distinguish the value between the two. A degree sounds better than a diploma, however much recently more and more university graduates have been attending post-grad college programs across the country in order to further their ‘practical’ skills. Since this has been the growing trend than college most obviously seems to be the correct path to take because it offers hands on training and practical skill development. And college in Canada has a substantially smaller price tag than the average Canadian University.

Due to the pressure of going away to school, our summers are spent working long hours in underpaid jobs in order to have the required financial stability to be able to afford the over priced text books and over paid professors. At least the professors see the good in their degrees. The majority of them can be called doctors having a wide range of letters after their name, B.A., M.B.A., PhD, and so on. But all the education is not necessarily sufficient enough to say that they can teach. Sure they have spent years in school and have had hundreds of teachers over the course of their lifetime who have given a general understanding of teaching. Nevertheless, their education level can often conflict with the principles behind instructing. So our earned summer dollars go right back into the same institutions that claim they can educate us and prepare us for our longstanding careers.

Encouraged by the pressure of society and the anxiety to make a decent living, the true value of a University education has lost its original importance. No longer will we be writing papers for specific purposes other than to get a grade. No longer will our education be used in our careers. Education is dead. Politics have risen (And dominate the education system). And the student today is not what it used to be.

[Clearly I was upset about my education. Though I did graduate from a reputable program from a reputable school, I still use more of the skills I learned on the job than what I learned at school. My argument was targeting arts and some science programs, and not necessarily specific engineering, health, and more, lets say, complex programs.]


Entry filed under: education.

I will

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