University, the final stage in top level education. We all know the proposed outcome of a university education, a qualification and the chance of getting a better job. But how much more does a university education give you that self studying doesn’t? And wouldn’t self study be a lot cheaper than spending grands on a university education?
Now I went university myself. I done a two year HND and was put straight onto the last year of the degree as my results were very good (If your results were just average they’d put you onto the second year instead or not let you carry on at all). But this is where the problems kicked in. Three years studying is a lot for anyone, especially on top of a lifetime of prior education. People lose the will to study at different times, sometimes before they finish secondary, sometime in college, and in my case towards the end of my university education. Now the work wasn’t hard for me, I just completely lost interest in doing it. I would leave all my work till the last minute (Something I never did when I was motivated), rush my essays and not meet the word count. Why is this I ask, is university education too long?
Looking back, I can see that university education did help me, but wouldn’t do the same for everyone. University learning is basically learning from books. You go to lesson, the teacher talks to you about book extracts, they give you a printout from a book, then tell you to go and read that book. Then for your assignment, you reword a book in your own words and give your opinion about the book or subject in the book. That’s it. Like I said, university did benefit me. But if you’ve the skills to sit down and read a book all day, you could learn most things yourself for a lot cheaper. This of course isn’t true for more practical subjects such as art, but then there’s always exceptions to the rule.
So why pay those thousands in university fees if you can learn everything yourself for a lot cheaper? Well, for a start there’s the social side of it. Many people before their university education are still living at home with their parents. University gives them the opportunity to gain some independence and live by themselves or with friends. It’s also more social then simply going straight into work where you see the same faces everyday. There’s also the benefit of having the qualification paper at the end of your university education. While self study could give you the knowledge you’d require to do a job, a lot of companies would rather hire someone that has a qualification to back up their knowledge, rather then taking someone’s word for it.
You can learn a lot from university (I more picked up skills, such as learning to self study and presentation skills) although I feel the process is too long and could be shortened down. Due to the fact a lot of the time given to ‘study’ is wasted by students doing nothing, I feel a more intensive two year course would be ideal for many people who want to get the university experience but cut off a third of the time.