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jjohn (22)

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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Monday July 22, 2002
07:14 AM

UK advises university students: stop with the book larnin'

[ #6536 ]

The Institute of Directors (IoD)says people are leaving university with useless degrees which could damage their job prospects not improve them.

The employers' organisation wants the government to scrap its target of getting 50% of under-30s to university by 2010.


In the US, the expression for this sentiment is summed up in the truism: "The world needs ditchdiggers." Bizzare. I thought this was the twenty-first century, not the nineteenth. Also, this article is evidence countries besides the US perceive education as only a means to a job.

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  • One very interesting thing I noticed about Japan is that everyone is Japanese. Sounds like a stupid oversimplification, but it actually looked rather strange to me that everyone -- from the taxi driver to the bank clerk to the guy sweeping the stairs in the subway to the convenience store clerk -- was Japanese.

    In most other places I've lived/visited, there are large groups of immigrants or migrants who perform the less desirable jobs that are collectively "not us". That's probably still the case to some

    • (Note: Forgive this question if it seems ill-informed, because I really don't have any direct experience of Japan myself. I have read a book by an American in Japan, but that's hardly direct evidence.)

      Couldn't that be explained by the enormous pressure put upon the pre-career-choice Japanese person by their parents and teachers combined with the enormous social pressure not to contradict people in better status than you?


      You are what you think.
    • Japan isn't exactly one big happy family. Lots of those menial jobs are, in fact, held by undesirables -- Nth-generation Koreans [], burakumin [], or even people who just got on the wrong side of tests []. Apparently Japan has just decided that there's no need to look far for undesirables when they can so expertly make them at home.
  • Where else are you going to run the fiber?

  • Want another truism? If you make it so everyone can go to school, it lowers the value of an education to be had there. That's not to say everyone shouldn't be educated, but it used to be hard to graduate from college. Before that, it was hard to graduate from high school. These days it is often easy to get a postgraduate degree. We lower our standards so everyone can graduate, and in the process inevitably make graduation meaningless.

    Or to put it another way: our focus is far too heavily weighted on t