I just read an Evening Standard article on Mandelson’s comments concerning the university cuts. It’s really annoyed me, primarily because it’s just so incredibly illogical.
Mandelson states that the £915 million cuts should encourage universities to cut their ‘weaker’ departments of funding and focus on ‘excellence’.
Okay, so if it’s all about excellence, why isn’t he just closing the universities at the bottom of the league tables? Seriously, there are some universities out there that are churning out badly taught worthless degrees. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch of the imagination to consider that there are probably universities in Britain where the best department is worse than the worst department in some of the better universities. So why should a good university close a department that still outstrips half the departments in the country? This makes absolutely no sense!
Surely if it’s about excellence, then close the shit universities. If it’s not about making sure everyone can go to university who wants to, Mr Mandelson, then why are we keeping poor universities and cutting everyone the same?
What also annoys me is that apparently “we cannot afford a system in which every institute tries to do everything”. I’m assuming he hasn’t seen the liberal-arts education of North America, then? How about instead of churning out loads of young people with degrees of relative usefulness that they’re never going to use, we give them a broader education that might actually furnish them with a whole variety of skills.
But I guess that’s by-the-by. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with the premises of Mr Mandelson’s arguments. I just really object to the illogical nature of his spin!