Top girls to opt for jobs because they see degrees as a ‘waste of time’

The Sunday Times is reporting that the head of Britain’s “best performing school” has warned that in future the brightest schoolgirls will choose to go straight into a job at the age of 18 rather than go to university…

The comments come from Clarissa Farr, the head of St Paul’s Girls’ School, which currently sends more than half its sixth-formers to Oxbridge. She is reported as suggested that some of her students now consider a degree to be “a waste of time” and suggests it will become “acceptable for bright students not to go to university”. She also claims choosing not to enter higher education “could be a more exciting and faster route to the top”.

As a result of this, Farr is said to be introducing changes to the curriculum at St Paul’s to teach pupils alternatives to university and to prepare them for employment if they want to go into work at 18.

Clarissa Farr is quoted:

“Far fewer of these brilliant youngsters are going to go to university in the long term..

Some will still go into world-class universities but some will go straight into employment aged 18 and that will cease to be an unacceptable choice for the very brightest girls…

The top university will not be the only route for the very able. Children are finding it difficult to pay for it. Why would you if you did not need to?”

Farr also goes on to note that firms such as Google are recognising that conventional education cannot even begin to keep up with the requirements of the modern workplace and in future will want to recruit them directly and train them in-house.

More at: Top girls to opt for jobs over degrees (subscription may be required)

 

Whilst the girls of St Paul’s live in a completely different world to most of the rest of us, I completely agree with Clarissa Farr’s comments here. 

I’ve said before that I think the university model is broken and offers little of real value to young people or employers. Children (no doubt including my own) will keep going because they are still probably at a disadvantage if they don’t, just because it is seen as the norm, but will it be worth what it costs them? I seriously doubt it.

Your thoughts and reactions?

 

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Comments

  1. Busy Mum

    I could see this nearly 30 years ago – I was at a similar school to St Pauls and opted out of uni – did I get some stick – I was clearly ahead of my time!

  2. Mike Bell That’s because university is sold as being essential for future careers.  But graduates will find they’re in competition with graduates from other countries who will do the jobs cheaper but our graduates will be saddled with considerable debt. (See Brown, Lauder, Ashton, ‘The Global Auction’. OUP, 2011).

  3. Busy Mum While schools are judged on how many pupils go to uni, particularly Russell Group, pupils will be pushed into this option when it may not be in their best interests.
    Good on you for defying the pressure.

  4. Busy Mum

    Janet2 Busy Mum Thankyou. Yes, I see many pupils being pushed into uni….one of my daughters has just resisted too and is looking to work whilst studying through the Open university. 
    Whilst the school authorities have respected her decision privately, they have not acknowledged this publicly so my daughter’s peers certainly view her as ‘having made the wrong choice’ and think that a standard degree in three years time will somehow make them into more intelligent people than her.

  5. Busy Mum

    Janet2 Busy Mum Thankyou. Yes, I see many pupils being pushed into uni….one of my daughters has just resisted too and is looking to work whilst studying through the Open university. 
    Whilst the school authorities have respected her decision privately, they have not acknowledged this publicly so my daughter’s peers certainly view her as ‘having made the wrong choice’ and think that a standard degree in three years time will somehow make them into more intelligent people than her.

  6. Busy Mum Janet2 The OU is great – I speak as an OU graduate.  I’m surprised more 18 year-olds don’t take OU degrees but I suspect they might be more tempted by the freedom of being away from parents than the education on offer.
    Good luck to your daughter.

  7. Busy Mum Janet2 The OU is great – I speak as an OU graduate.  I’m surprised more 18 year-olds don’t take OU degrees but I suspect they might be more tempted by the freedom of being away from parents than the education on offer.
    Good luck to your daughter.

  8. Busy Mum

    Janet2 Busy Mum Thankyou. Agree, most 18 year olds are not thinking seriously about education – going to uni is an easy way of moving out for free (free in the short term, that is!)

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