Here’s an election idea: why not let anyone sit Oxbridge finals?

Political parties are so busy suddenly falling over themselves to put money into education, it feels as if we’re living in a learning piñata. Bang! Boris Johnson promises more cash for schools. Boom! Jeremy Corbyn will fund six years of learning for adults. Womp! The Lib Dems are making lifelong higher education free-ish. The Guardian reports.

Want a truly radical idea? Weirdly, it came from a Conservative, Dominic Raab, at a conference fringe event. Why not have universities open their final exams, he suggested, so anyone could sit them or submit coursework? If you can sit an Oxford University exam and get a first, why shouldn’t you get the Oxford degree? Naturally, the university should be paid for this, but it costs little to set, invigilate and mark exam papers. A full A-level entry is roughly £85. If we are generous, and double that amount, then £165 per exam paper seems more than fair.

How would anyone learn, though, you might ask? Isn’t it the uniquely brilliant people who work in universities that provide the knowledge for exams? Not always. The most recent survey into student experience by the Higher Education Policy Institute thinktank found that only around half of students felt their teachers motivated them to achieve their best work. A third didn’t even feel they clearly explained the course requirements.

In the modern world, young people could share resources online and learn at their own pace. No degree would be off-limits to a person in a job, or at home caring for a child. Pass the assessments, get the certificate.

Read the full article Here’s an election idea: why not let anyone sit Oxbridge finals? 

Food for thought. Got any ideas yourself?  Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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