Debasing our Education System
The government's proposed reforms to higher education miss the mark, but they also identify just how our entire education system is failing our children.
I've long been an advocate for University reform.
Many of these so-called institutions of higher learning have debased themselves into diploma mills, catering to the lucrative foreign student market.
They rake in billions of dollars while paying no tax and turning a blind eye to plagiarism and purchased assignments.
It's incomprehensible to me how a person who doesn't speak English can get through an Australian university degree, yet they do.
It's another case of following the money.
It's slightly less bad for local students. Many graduates have no real skills worth monetising for an employer. Businesses tell me it's hard enough to get them to turn up, let alone work at peak efficiency.
I'm not surprised that's the case when you see some of the malarky being taught under the guise of education.
What makes it worse is that taxpayers are picking up the tab.
There's something like $80 billion in student loans out there - funded by the government - and officials estimate around $20 billion of that will never be repaid.
The Universities have never been held to account for that failure to prepare job-ready graduates. As I said, they don't even pay taxes on their massive profits.
But the government now has a plan to 'fix' the system.
Under a new bill introduced this week, Universities will be fined nearly $20,000 each time they fail to support a struggling student with tutoring or counselling.
The intention is to force all universities and private tertiary institutions to “proactively identify” students at risk of falling behind and design a plan to help them succeed.
The changes target the previous Coalition government’s Job Ready Graduates rules, which cancelled more of our money going to students who fail more than half their subjects in a given year.
According to the do-gooders and reality deniers, such a nasty program targets poor people.
I'm calling BS on that. It targets those who are clearly not prepared or equipped to be at university but were accepted anyway.
It's easy to conclude that cash for enrolment has something to do with that.
According to the bill, universities must identify students struggling to complete their degree and “assess a student’s academic and non-academic suitability for continuing study’’.
That should have been done before they started, which would mean reform of our failing secondary school system.
These dud students must be given access to targeted individual literacy, numeracy and other academic supports.
Again, shouldn't they have these basic skills after graduating high school and before being admitted to University?
That's what used to happen.
Now, everyone is entitled and expected to go to University.
We are overrun with unemployable sociology graduates while the country is starved of tradesmen and others with essential skills.
Again, I am all for holding Universities accountable for their failures, but we also have to accept that some people shouldn't go to University.
If it's a policy of everyone deserves to have a degree, even if they are below required literacy and numeracy standards, then we are only debasing our education system even further.
Unfortunately, that's precisely what's been going on for decades now.
Our nation is dumber as a result.