Asked internally of many a University student is the eternal question: What is the point?
For one, there are the rising standards of education. More and more young people are choosing to go to university and therefore:
BA, BSc, BAE, BArch, BDiv, BFA, LLB
Could soon mean as much as:
AIu, Ghb, JAo, YAb, Czk, MHN.
A degree used to mean getting a job, it is not a guarantee anymore.
University, a universal qualification
A large proportion of the population have a degree and therefore to outdo the ‘norm’ of bachelor degrees there is a need for a Masters degree, and then everybody will have one of those…
It has become the expected thing to do for young people with a certain level of educational background. It is simply the ‘done thing’ to go to university. Many will go for the party, many for the shrinking job prospects, many because their parents said so, and – in my experience – only some for a real passion for their subject. It has been a well known saying that if you don’t know what to do- do law.
However underlying this, there is the assumption that you have to go to uni, you have to choose something. Is that right though? Should this be the case? Is the point of university not to educate those who truly love their subject and wish to study it for three or four years? Not social pressure. As far as job prospects are concerned, is it really right that you need a Masters in Catalan Identity to work the computers in a bank? I suspect many of those at University do not intend on pursuing a career in academia.
Side note: I have a mini rant to impart on you.
It has to do with the university’s APA policy. I have found that almost everybody going into university have not done their previous education in the style of the American Psychological Association (APA). Most students have to part with their footnote-making ways and learn how to cite in text (O’Sullivan, 2011). This, although difficult to adapt to, would be something I saw point in – had it not been for the fact that all my friends attending other universities do not seem to be enduring such (seemingly pointless) rigorous lessons on how to write in a particular style. They are told to stick to footnotes or citing in text – or whatever you prefer, as long as it is consistent and academic.
I do appreciate that UCM (I am not sure that I can speak for the university as a whole) attempts to introduce the students to not only the subjects but also the way we write about them. However, I feel that the strict pedantry that is employed to enforce these APA rules in a strict manner (in many cases affecting your grade significantly) where the formatting style is equally capable of docking marks as the content – is not acceptable. If UCM wants to be taken seriously by the ‘big’ universities in the UK, and I think it does (many students do Masters in the UK, although this point also goes for many universities the world over, with exception perhaps to the US) – then we have to adopt either a footnote system or a ‘consistency’ policy. The APA style, although incredibly credible, is laughable for many in the UK.