‘Easy’ degrees are fueling drunken laddish behaviour, school association head says

The Telegraph is reporting that the head of a private school association has suggested undergraduate degrees are too easy and are fuelling laddish culture because students are bored.

Dr William Richardson, general secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), said that “low contact hours” and less demanding timetables in humanities and social sciences compared to medicine degrees result in students drinking to entertain themselves.

He also said there was “an unreasonable expectation of entitlement” to a degree from students with little work to do during the first semesters at university…

His comments follow reports of a worsening of the hard-drinking, drug-taking culture on campus that has led to the National Students Union (NUS) to denounce British universities for failing to tackle lad culture…

Dr Richardson said headteachers at HMC schools “have been concerned that some students – first years, in particular – are made vulnerable at university by low contact hours and dangerous activities,especially those linked to alcohol consumption”.

“It cannot be right that, for some, the design of teaching is the problem. It is not acceptable that there are undergraduates, especially in the humanities and some social sciences, who end up in harms’ way because they are bored in term-time or don’t have enough to do on their course…”

More at: ‘Easy’ degrees are fueling drunken laddish behaviour, school association head says


So what do you make of these comments from Dr Richardson?

Might he be onto something in suggesting some students are insufficiently occupied by their courses?

Please give us your reactions in the comments and via twitter…


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Categories: Higher Education.


  1. writeandraise

    Students efforts should never be down graded. However a greater concern is that if these degrees are deemed easy, would they enable the students to get relevant jobs? If not why aree such degrees being funded? If after doing the degree and piling up debts for themselves, it is society that will ultimately have to catch the tab for the cost of the degree and unemployment maintainance allowances that follow.
    On another level, who is designing such weak degrees in the first instance. The universities have to examine their role in this.
    Please note that none of the above is an excuse for any inappropriate behaviour by the university students.

  2. kazjohnson

    SchoolsImprove it is quite ludicrous to have 50% of our cohort in university. They are being robbed of proper well-paid jobs this way.

  3. egaliteacher

    Where does the research say the subjects are easy? Only mentions fewer contact hrs but the headline leads with “easy”. More of the Telegraph’s toxic agenda against arts subjects it seems. A real shame for young people to have to put up with these slurs against their subjects/hard work.

  4. egaliteacher

    Who said anything about “weak degrees” etc? Research only mentions fewer contact hours. Think you might be overreacting.

  5. wraitken

    SchoolsImprove what an obnoxious, arrogant comment from someone who SHOULD know better, for some-getting any kind of degree is a win!

Let us know what you think...