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Varying degrees


I read with great interest Jackie Whitelaw's Comment on the current education strategy by the government. This country had, up until the late 60's, the very best tertiary education system in the world, providing City & Guilds/HNC/HND and degree standard qualifications.

Apprenticeships were not a dirty word and professionals such as engineers, lawyers and accountants studied at day release and got on the job training. As the article says, these people proved their competence through experience.

I believe that the ICE did a major disservice to the industry and the country when it ceased to recognise the HNC as a suitable qualification for membership.

What do we achieve if we put an extra 350,000 people through university? This policy is destroying the status of degree qualifications and will only bring us to the standard of the United States, where everyone has a degree and it means precisely nothing.

If the government reduced the number of establishments who can grant degrees there would be ample finance available to award grants, and to support students in the same way that I, most members of our Institution, and Parliament with degrees were supported.

Michael Grounsell (M), 8 Regent Close, Otterbourne, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 2DN

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