50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue - download pdf or read online

By Rick Holden

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However, whereas the former will be remembered for its axiom that “courses of higher education should be available for all those who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so”, the latter will be remembered for facilitating the acceptance of the proposition that students should pay some contribution towards tuition costs. Education þ Training Vol. 50 No. 1, 2008 pp. 1108/00400910810855496 ET 50,1 48 Expansion within higher education Prior to the Second World War, universities were exclusive, high cost per capita institutions.

1108/00400910810855478 Fifty years ago, I was still at school, a somewhat academic institution where the emphasis was on getting your “O” and “A” levels, which must have counted for something, despite the fact that only a very few of my peers went on to university. Careers advice was pretty much non-existent and the only options for a female, if you did not go to university, were to do a secretarial course, go into nursing or even the armed forces. After all, it was only going to be a few years before one got married and settled down to have a family in much the same way as my parents’ generation had.

In addition a whole new world has been created around the need to develop skills and life-long learning. Words such as “employability” and “competences” have entered the world of academia with the result that there is ongoing tension between the academic and the vocational. No longer, it seems, do you go to university to study a subject dear to your heart and have a good time, having perhaps left home for the first time. Instead it’s a means to an end; a degree will get you a good graduate job and so many more young people are being encouraged to go on to higher education.

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50th Anniversary Commemorative Issue by Rick Holden

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