|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 208):|
It's also not a desirable situation for the government to dictate what people can and cannot study.
There is quite an interesting book by Prof. Alison Wolf on the subject of education and it found that the government didn't make especially great decisions when it came to education. If I remember correctly one of the mistakes at one point was encouraging people to do degrees in a certain sector right before a crash in that sector and thus a massive oversupply in graduates for that particular sector - I forget which sector it was (might have been something IT
). The conclusion was actually that individuals make the best decisions regarding their further education requirements.
|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 208):|
But student loans should be market based. Banks should be more willing to fund degrees in business than Asian studies because the business degree is more likely to be paid off.
The problem is, just as the government makes poor decisions with regards to education, what makes you think banks will do any better? I appreciate that a bank is a business and thus has the commercial drive to be profitable and thus make "good" loans, however they - like the government - aren't experts at further education.
a) They will likely take the "easy" option and be more willing to fund degrees in what they deem to be the best degrees for repayment - this I believe will differ somewhat from what actually are the best degrees for repayment.
b) Because they are more willing to fund such degrees it will likely encourage people who would have done other degrees to do business degrees - for example - potentially leading to an oversupply which then cuts down the chances of repayment.
c) Someone who needs a degree to further their employment aspirations may be "encouraged" by the banks to do a degree that they do not really want to do and as a result get a poorer score than they would have done had they had more freedom in choosing their degree. This would then be counter-productive for that individual.
d) Banks may simply not bother offering loans for obscure degrees because they do not have enough data about the likelihood of repayment.
e) As mentioned before - are banks a better judge of what degrees people should and should not be doing - I think not.
I did a very unusual degree - indeed I was the only person in the country doing it and the course is no longer offered - It was something along the lines of Asian Studies (it was actually an Asian language). I was advised when I left college not to do it because employers would not see the benefit of it and would think that you are unusual. I ignored them as I wanted to go to university to do something that I wanted to do and not follow the herd. As soon as I left university I got a job in a completely different sector to that of my degree and now earn considerably more than my friends who did Economics / Business Studies - some of whom are significantly underemployed despite having a solid degree from a decent university.
It would have been interesting to see what the banks would have predicated regarding that scenario. They would have been unlikely to fund my degree yet would likely have willingly funded the business related degrees which amongst my friends a least have proven in cases to be worthless.
|Quoting BMI727 (Reply 206):|
I don't want the Norwegian system, since someone could go to school for a degree in Women's Studies or something and then not have a job, or have a job that's basically the same as what any lesser educated person could get (think Starbucks) and do it all on the taxpayer dime.
Such a degree would not necessarily be worthless. The person doing it needs to be the right person with the right career aspirations (perhaps wanting to work for the UN or something). If the person has the drive then the degree might be appropriate for them. At the same time it is quite specialised so I would not expect more than a couple of people doing it.
I think the key is getting more information out about employment prospects. Degrees from a bad university are not going to be worth much. A Woman's Studies degree from a quality university might be worth more. If more information is available before, a robust interview as to why someone wants the degree and frank advice about employment prospects it should discourage a good number from doing such degrees so that only those who are likely to make it pay decide to do them.