but - i do disagree with scramble
in fact - the Russell Group, 1994 group, University Alliance and Million plus were established by institutions to represent their various members interests to government.....the Russell group to differenciate themselves from the "New" universities that were being set-up - and to state they were the top 20 uni's in research, the 1994 group to do the same (the next level research uni's), the university alliance for the business providers and the million plus for the rest....much like the Ivy League etc etc in the states....
ANY institution that receives public funding has to be accountable.....and now that we have an influx of education providers, these groups will find themselves having to be more accountable to government....and the tax payer....scramble may not like it, but I think he's going to be very busy justifying his uni's fees both to the students they attact AND to the government, who are going to be stumping up the money initially.
i don't really like OFSTED....it's a pain in the arse, a difficult period for the staff and students in my school and in some ways has a negative impact to my teaching.....but if OFSTED don't inspect.....how does anyone know if I'm doing my job or not?
Universities rely on their reputation to attract students and therefore funding - if their is no independent benchmark - how do they differentiate? - they may want to do it themselves - but then how and why should we differentiate between, lets say, Point blank and the SAE institute
I've seen a lot of posts in the past on the forums saying that the Tonmeister course is the only one to go on....why is this? - who decided? - the industry? the employeer? -= how do they know that the tonmeister course is the best?> - cause it hits a certain standard - regulated by independent bodies. - Thus Universities ALREADY judge themselves by certain standards - that are recognised AND Arbitrated to a certain extent by government - (the Russell group is made of the top 20 unis WHO RECEIVE THE MOST RESEARCH GRANT MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT)
if the Taxpayer is asked to pay - then they'll (the Unis) have to justify their tax money received...and the taxpayer pays the government to check and maintain standards - as they do the NHS, Armed forces, Police, Utility providers etc etc etc. Higher Education establishments better get used to hitting certain standards if they want the money - just as colleges and schools have to.
Anyway - thats off-topic....in the case of Point Blank there is little to differentiate them from let's say David Etheridge's offerings (found on the page opposite) - except for the big flashy ad - and maybe the false promises offered (by point blank) - or the real promises offered by them - I don't know - there seems very little qualification backup to justify the last statement. Their (Point blank's) list of course tutors and equipment is the only real differentiation.... There is no government approved awarding body offering a recognised standard of education (ie a degree award) - which to me would seem a vital pre-requisite for parting with any cash.
If we actually want to keep higher education relevant, then Higher education needs to standardise it's diplomas, certificates and degrees, and that'll have to be done by those that pay for it...which is the government - via loans for the fees, research grants etc etc etc....
the money comes from the taxpayer first - the taxpayer's gonna want to see results - or at least a standard of education received by the students from the institution - much like it does from schools.
Interestingly all uni's require a set standard from their entrants - A-levels are only issued by 3 GOVERNMENT APPOINTED STATUTORY REGULATORY BODIES.....for uni's to insist their intake have qualifications/grading equivalent 'points' from these regulatory bodies and then refuse to be regulated for the awards they issue themselves is kinda hypocritical
Unless of course we want to go back to the old days of money buys education -
but i always believe good quality, regulated and accountable education is a right - not a privilege...and is a right for all, regardless of wealth and background.