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Are students unprepared for university study? Let us know what you think

12:17 03 April 2012

Are students being properly prepared for university study?

Are students being properly prepared for university study?

ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC © 2005

Many universities are laying on extra classes for new students amid concerns that undergraduates are unprepared for degree study, new research suggests.

It comes as education secretary Michael Gove said universities were set to have a far greater role in designing A-level programmes in the future.

Research by Cambridge Assessment warns too much teaching to the test in schools means many students start university struggling to write essays, build arguments, evaluate information and conduct research.

The findings show that more than half of lecturers think that undergraduates are unprepared for degree-level study.

Three fifths (or 60pc) said their universities were providing extra support classes for under-prepared first-year students, usually focusing on writing and independent learning.

And nearly three quarters (72pc) of those questioned said they hadchanged their teaching styles for students who are not ready for university study.

But what do you think? Are A-level courses preparing students for university study properly? Did you feel equipped with the right academic skills when beginning your degree? And what should be done about it?

Let us know by posting your comments below.

7 comments

  • From the start if a child cannot write its own name, address and 'phone number, also read basic children's books, then stay at home until they can. Any caring parent would give them that vital start.

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    Paul Platten

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • I would like to think that students have mastered the basics. I doubt schools do much to foster critical thinking nor is it really encouraged in the UK in general, but this is a skill required. Of course theres lots of examples of dreadfully prepared students making wonderful sterotypes, these may fall into the why am I here anyway catgeory, let me wanda through the arts. The vast majority of business, engineering and science students are well prepared and know where ther going, although its always good to be even better prepared in the competitive world we live in.

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    Paul Morley

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

  • University is for education, not training for a job. In the past it was routine for some graduates to find employment well outside their field of expertise- a good degree was seen as an indication of ability, not necessarily an applied skill. However A levels should give students the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their chosen degree course, and I agree with Carb. about the standards. I can only conclude that the one size fits all GCSE is in turn failing brighter pupils who wish to go on to A levels. I know this is true of double science GCSE, which is so dumbed down it wrecks the prospects of all but the most able who go on to study chemistry physics or biology at A level and probably accounts for many being deterred from studying science. I believe this also applies to History GCSE where the art of writing a good essay based on knowledge seems to be lost to giving subjective opinions on scraps of source material. And English GCSE where pupils can answer questions on works such as Jane Eyre without having read the whole novel.One only has to look at the figures for GCE O and A level passes in the past to realise that the current successes are not all attributable to harder working pupils and teachers.

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    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • It's highly unlikely school prepares them for further education. I ad to school one young friend into how to write academically as her 6th form essays were just too juvenile for words. More importantly though is the pressing matter are youngsters fit for working life once they have completed their further education? It would appear not to be honest.

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    Carborundum

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Maybe some students need educating when it comes to shopping. Yes you do need money when using the self service checkouts..

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    chebram71

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • no jobs for them anyway.waste of time.

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    Tina Hewitt

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

  • Carborundum: Universities offer higher education. Further education in the UK refers to post-16 education in places other than universities. There may well be too much teaching "to the test"; league tables have a lot to answer for in this respect. Education for its own sake is not valued in the UK today as Tina Hewitt's comment makes clear.

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    point du jour

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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